DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
Regd. DL(ND)-11/6110/2006-07-08 RNI No. TNENG/2012/49940 ISSN 0971 - 751X Vol. 3 No. 166 City Edition 22 Pages Rs. 8.00 www.thehindu.in
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A JIRGA OF AND FOR THE WOMEN
ISHRAT FAMILY CLAIMS THREAT
OP-ED PAGE & PAGE 13
AUSTRALIA TAKES FIRST INNINGS LEAD
Printed at Chennai, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Madurai, Noida, Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Vijayawada, Mangalore, Tiruchirapalli, Kolkata, Hubli, Mohali, Allahabad, Malappuram and Lucknow
Jailbirds cannot contest elections
SC ruling applies to those in jail and police custody but is not applicable to those out on bail ANOTHER BLOW
sentence of imprisonment, transportation or otherwise, or was in the lawful custody of the police was not entitled to vote by virtue of Section 62 (5) of the RP Act and accordingly was not an “elector” and was, therefore, not qualiﬁed to contest elections to the House of People or the Legislative Assembly of a State. The High Court accepted this contention and held: “A right to vote is a statutory right, the Law gives it, the Law takes it away. Persons convicted of crime are kept away from elections to the Legislature, whether to State Legislature or Parliament and all other public elections. The Court has no hesitation in interpreting the Constitution and the Laws framed under it, read together, that persons in the lawful custody of the Police also will not be voters, in which case, they will neither be electors. The Law temporarily takes away the power of such persons to go anywhere near the election scene. To vote is a statutory right. It is privilege to vote, which privilege may be taken away. In that case, the elector would not be qualiﬁed, even if his name is on the electoral rolls. The name is not struck off, but the qualiﬁcation to be an elector and the privilege to vote when in the lawful custody of the police is taken away.” Aggrieved by the ﬁndings of the High Court, the appellants ﬁled the appeals and the Bench dismissed them and upheld the ﬁndings rendered by the High Court.
JUDICIAL OVERREACH: EDITORIAL
DU FIFTH CUT-OFF LIST PROHIBITORY ORDERS TEACHERS’ PLEA REJECTED
Some popular colleges have reopened admissions
No processions allowed on NH-8 without permission
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has held that persons in lawful custody — whether convicted in a criminal case or otherwise — cannot contest elections. The ruling, however, does not apply to those on bail. A Bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and S.J. Mukhopadhaya dismissed appeals ﬁled by the Chief Election Commissioner and others against a Patna High Court judgment that in 2004 had held that when a person in custody is disqualiﬁed from voting he or she must be disqualiﬁed from contesting in elections too. In its order, the Bench said: “We have heard counsel for the [political] parties and we do not ﬁnd any inﬁrmity in the ﬁndings of the High Court in the impugned common order that a person who has no right to vote by virtue of the provisions of Section 62 (5) of the Representation of the People Act 1951 is not an elector and is therefore not qualiﬁed to contest the election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a State.” Jan Chaukidar (Peoples Watch) and others ﬁled petitions in the Patna High Court contending that a person, who was conﬁned in prison, whether under a
High Court dismisses plea against DU semester system
A family breaks fast on the ﬁrst day of Ramzan at the Jama Masjid in the Capital on Thursday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
AERB green light for Kudankulam
NEW DELHI: In a major relief to
Court bans caste-based political rallies in U.P.
Atiq Khan litical rallies in the State, and prayed for a ban on such LUCKNOW: The Lucknow rallies as they were against Bench of the Allahabad High the spirit of the ConstituCourt on Thursday banned tion and created enmity “with immediate effect” along caste lines. The court caste-based rallies in Uttar ﬁxed July 25 as the next date Pradesh and issued notices of hearing. to the Central and State govBoth the Congress and ernments, the Election the BJP welcomed the court Commission, the Congress, ruling. BJP State unit presithe Bharatiya Janata Party, dent Laxmikant Bajpai said the Bahujan Samaj Party the ruling was a stinging and the Samajwadi Party. blow to the parties playing A Bench of Justices Uma caste-based politics, while Nath Singh and Mahendra Uttar Pradesh Congress Dayal delivered the ruling Committee spokesperson on a public interest litiga- Amarnath Agarwal said the tion petition ﬁled by local basic spirit of the Constitulawyer Motilal Yadav. He tion and democracy would submitted that there was an be strengthened in the wake upsurge in caste-based po- of the verdict. Last Sunday, the Bahujan Samaj Party held a “Brahmin bhaichara sammelan” in Lucknow. “Muslim bhaichara sammellans” were also organised by it at Barabanki and Lucknow. The ruling Samajwadi Party too has had its share of caste-based rallies. In the recent past, it hosted two Brahmin meetings. Backward caste meetings have also been organised by the party. Omar Rashid reports from Allahabad: The SP welcomed the court order but defended its recent Brahmin rallies. It reasoned that none of them was based on any particular caste.
Government may ﬁle review petition
NEW DELHI: By striking down a safeguard provided in Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 — which allowed convicted MPs, MLAs and MLCs to continue in their posts, provided they appealed against their conviction/sentence in higher courts within three months of the date of judgment (by the trial court) — and declaring it ultra vires the Constitution, the Supreme Court has engendered a legal debate vis-à-vis Parliament’s power to enact such a law.
DETAILS ON PAGE 12
Fire in J&K Secretariat, records destroyed
authorities of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board has given its nod for controlled ﬁssion process or “ﬁrst approach to criticality” for the ﬁrst unit of the plant. The FAC is an important step towards the beginning of power production. An AERB release said that while granting the clearance for the FAC, it was ensured that the Supreme Court directives of May 6 were fully complied with. The approval was given after an in-depth review of associated safety aspects.
SRINAGAR: A major ﬁre broke out on Thursday inside the annexe of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Secretariat complex in which the two-storey wooden structure was gutted and records of three departments including of Accounts and Treasuries destroyed. No casualties were reported. Security officials said electric short circuit seems to be the cause of the blaze as there was a little likelihood of sabotage since the complex was well guarded. The State government has ordered a probe into the incident. Officials said a major ﬁre broke out in the annexe in the secretariat complex at 9.10 a.m., minutes before scheduled opening of the State government offices.— PTI
Moily gives a quiet burial to doubling of gas price
NEW DELHI: The much-touted
Gang-rape verdict on juvenile on July 25
NEW DELHI: A Juvenile Justice Board, trying the minor accused in the December 16 brutal gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old girl here, on Thursday reserved its judgement for July 25. According to a police official, counsel for the juvenile claimed he was not present in the bus on December 16. The Board presided by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel reserved the verdict after counsel for the accused and the prosecution submitted their clariﬁcations Page 3
offer of $8.4 mbtu price for natural gas, which had generated heat and debate, was given a decent burial on Thursday, when Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily announced that no such rate had been ﬁxed or approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). He said the price levels under the Rangarajan formula in April 2014 would be applicable to domestically produced gas. His assertion comes in the backdrop of the Union Finance Ministry raising questions about various issues pertaining to gas pricing, including the applicability of
for gas approved by the CCEA, and whatever price worked out in April 2014 would be based on the Rangarajan formula. Mr. Moily indicated that his Ministry was in no mood to rethink the issue of giving an $4.2 mbtu price for the gas produced by RIL from KG D6 after it achieved full M. Veerappa Moily production. “I must make it clear that irrespective of any $4.2 mbtu to gas from the KG party or contractor, from D6 ﬁeld of Reliance Industri- April 2014, new gas price will es Limited (RIL) after it prevail across the board, and overcomes technical diffi- there is [a] way the Ministry culties so as to restore its as- will go with dual pricing. The set back to full production CCEA price will apply to all for fulﬁlling its commitment parties uniformly. There is also no proposal [with the to the nation. The Hindu was the ﬁrst to Petroleum Ministry] for capreport, on July 6, that there ping of gas price.” was nothing like $8.4 mbtu He told reporters that
there was no reconsideration of the CCEA’s decision. “Let me make it very clear. There is no confusion, there is no vagueness. And I don’t think there is scope for any interpretation whatsoever. We have gone with the Rangarajan formula. The price in April 2014 could be more than what is prevalent today or even less than that. It all depends on the prices in the international markets under the approved formula,” he said. Virtually rejecting the July 4 note of the Finance Ministry, Mr. Moily said it had only forwarded some media reports, and the note had no directive. “It is just a piece of information for us,
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
On its last leg, telegrams via snail mail
NEW DELHI: Don’t be surprised
New Delhi Rent Act to be linked with inﬂation
NEW DELHI: After much debate, the Union Cabinet has considered a proposal seeking to repeal the Delhi Rent Act of 1995 (DRA) paving the way for a new legislation that will link provisions of the Rent Act with inﬂation. The new bill will replace the Delhi Rent Control Act of 1958. “We will start a new exercise to frame the rent law after the withdrawal of the 1995 Act. It will be ready in two/three years’ time, ” a senior Urban Development Ministry official said. Page 3
— 4 Pages CM YK
An official veriﬁes a telegram at the Central Telegraph Office in Janpath. Photo: Monica Tiwari.
if your telegram lands in your post box with a stamp on it. With only four telegraph offices remaining in the Capital – the Central Telegraph Office at Janpath, Janakpuri, Delhi Cantonment and Kashmere Gate – there is a severe staff crunch to deliver the telegrams. “We have not been able to handle the volume with the shortage of staff. So for neighbourhoods that are located more than six kilometres away, we put a stamp on it and send it by post,” said a staff member at the Central Telegraph Office. Ever since it became known that the government will
scrap the telegram, or ‘taar’, on July 15, people have trooped to telegraph offices to send out “souvenir” telegrams. Among them is Vijay from East Delhi. He sent a telegram to his son, who incidentally lives with him. But, as luck would have it, Vijay’s telegram is yet to reach his son even a week later. Responding to this, an official at the CTO smiled and said: “East Delhi had eight telegraph offices. Now, it has none. The four offices have to service all of Delhi.” Vijay has now decided to resend the telegram, but this time to an address not across the Yamuna but a kilometre from the CTO.
MORE REPORTS ON PAGE 2
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
GEHLOT DENIES BUYING ‘LIKES’ FOR FACEBOOK PAGE
CRUCIAL MEET ON TELANGANA TODAY
DIVIDED INDUSTRY SLOWS FDI IN MEDIA
Many cable viewers yet to submit CAFs
NEW DELHI: Over ﬁve lakh cable TV viewers in the National Capital Region may face disconnection of services for not submitting consumer application forms (CAF) to multi-system operators (MSOs) by July 10, the deadline set by broadcast regulator TRAI. Sources said of the 28 lakh set-top boxes (STB) installed in the NCR, it is estimated that nearly 80 per cent subscribers have complied with the norms. TRAI officials, however, said they would further assess the details of noncompliance and it may take another week before services are disconnected. —PTI
End of an era. STOP. No more telegrams from July 15. STOP.
Delhiites are sending souvenir telegrams before the service comes to an end FAREWELL TO TELEGRAM
NEW DELHI: The list was long
Telegram becomes the voice of street and working children
Social organisations donate Rs 10 lakh
NEW DELHI: Eminent social and cultural organisations of the national Capital on Thursday donated Rs. 10 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for Uttarakhand ﬂood victims. Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami along with officebearers of the organisations handed over a cheque to Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. “The amount is meant for relief measures in Uttarakhand,” a statement said. Goswami said the All India Sanatan Dharma Pratinidhi Sabha, All India Sanskrit Sammelan and Durga Mata Mandir, Rajinder Nagar have contributed Rs.2 lakh each. —PTI
and on top of it was scrawled – “Greetings, you are one of the lucky ones to receive a wire in the age of wireless” – a clever wordplay in the epoch of text messages and emails. The message was from 21-year-old Raunaq Sawhney’s father to himself. Raunaq let it slip that he had been “forced” to make a trip to the Central Telegraph Office (CTO) at Janpath. His father wanted him to be part of something memorable and dispatched him with a handful of messages to be sent to family members who all live under ONE LAST TIME: People submitting telegrams at the Central Telegraph Office at Janpath. — PHOTO: MONICA TIWARI the same roof.
A child ﬁlling out a telegram form at the CTO in Janpath on Thursday. PHOTO: MONICA TIWARI
Bindu Shajan Perappadan
NEW DELHI: A group of street
Bearer of news
Ever since news trickled in that the telegram or taar – the bearer of good, bad and ugly news – will disappear once and for all on July 15, people have stormed the CTO to ﬁll out “souvenir” telegrams where the address of the receiver and the sender are the same. Farewell messages to the telegram and messages of love to family and friends have been handwritten and passed across the counter by people who previously had no idea where the telegraph office was. “There have been many things that have been closed down or discontinued without us knowing. I had to have a souvenir telegram,” says Megha Sunger, who used her lunch break to send her parents and a close friend messages. She recollected English lessons in school that taught her how to write a telegram but over the years it faded away just like the lesson on how to write ‘Letters to the Editor’. business trip to Mysore. “I must have really missed her,” she recalls, laughing. “I walked to the telegraph office in Calcutta on my own and sent it.”
Three-day yoga seminar planned
NEW DELHI: Ananda Marga Prachark Samgha is organising a three-day free yoga sadhana shivir and seminar at Malviya Nagar from Friday. The seminar will start with prabhat samgiita, kiirtan and collective meditation. There will be theoretical and practical classes on yoga sadhana. A discussion on ashtang yoga has also been organised. Besides this, a seminar on spiritual philosophy and socioeconomic theory will also be conducted. —Staff Correspondent
At least one
While Raunaq lightheartedly recollected that the telegram lesson helped him score a few marks in the English exams, threeyear-old Aparajita Hiya may have never known such a thing existed if her mother had not insisted that the child send one to her grandmother. “She should have sent at least one telegram in her life,” says Aparajita’s mother Antara Dev Sen. Ms. Sen had sent her ﬁrst telegram when she was in Class IX. A simple message of “I miss you” to her mother who was away on a short
A happy retirement
As for young Aparajita, there were just too many things distracting her from ﬁlling up the words “Love you Diyamon” addressing her grandma. So her mother thought it best to take some forms home to work on ﬁlling them overnight. But before returning home, it was time for a souvenir photograph in the telegraph office with a list of “Standard Phrases for Greeting Telegrams” adorning the wall. Given the circumstance, number 31 was most appropriate – Wish you a happy retired life. STOP.
More pump sets to tackle water-logging
NEW DELHI: To tackle waterlogging on Delhi roads, the Public Works Department has deployed additional manpower and installed more pumps in vulnerable areas. There are 157 locations on Delhi roads which are vulnerable to water-logging. “The PWD has installed permanent electric pumps at 95 locations and also arranged for generator sets as stand-by arrangements to meet any eventuality. It has also installed temporary pumps at 105 locations to ensure there was no water-logging during the monsoon,” a statement from the civic agency said. The PWD has completed shortterm as well as long-term measures at 137 locations to ensure they are free from water logging. It has also deployed 72 maintenance vans equipped with pumps sets and manpower at various places. Senior PWD officials and engineers have been asked to independently go on rounds for maintenance of all these roads, it said. —PTI
and working children in the Capital got together at the Central Telegraph Office at Janpath here on Thursday to use the telegram service for one last time to voice their concerns and issues. Under the programme, Badhte Kadam, the children are sending telegrams to various authorities in seven districts of Agra, Delhi, Gwalior, Jhansi and Mathura to apprise them of the issues they are facing. “Around 1,000 children, who will be using the service for the ﬁrst time and maybe the last time, are part of this event. They have various kinds of messages for different people. They are very enthusiastic about the event,” said Sanjay Gupta, director of Childhood Enhancement through Training and Education (CHETNA), a Delhi-based non-government organisation working for street and working children. He said India Post has been advocating for different issues for a long time. “Making use of telegrams, the children want to commemorate India Post for its achievement and emphasise the urgency and importance of their messages,” said Mr. Gupta. Chandni, the 15-year-old spokesperson of Badhte Ka-
Making use of telegrams, the children want to commemorate India Post for its achievement and emphasise the urgency and importance of their messages
SANJAY GUPTA Director CHETNA
dam, said: “The messages vary in their content; some carrying wishes like ‘Honorable President, please give time to children’s issues’, others are complaints like ‘Sector 104-Noida government school is not giving us admission, kindly help’, while still others seek help by pointing to crimes like ‘gambling and substance abuse is rampant in our park, stop it’.” “This event comes at a time when Indian authorities are shutting down the country’s 163-year-old telegram service in mid-July. Taar as it is called in India was inextricably linked with key moments of life and was used as an urgent mode of communication. Plummeting revenues have forced many post offices to withdraw the service even before the scheduled time but these children are very enthusiastic about the event and are working hard to make it a success,” added Mr. Gupta.
A traditional education for the contemporary age
Film-maker Irshal Ishu’s new documentary Beyond Education focuses on Tibetan schools across the country
NEW DELHI: Delhi-based ﬁlm-
maker Irshal Ishu has made a documentary Beyond Education, which highlights the way Tibetan schools across the country are educating children using traditional as well as modern-teaching methodologies. Irshal shuttles between Himachal Pradesh where he teaches ﬁlm-making and photography to Tibetan children and Delhi where he writes, directs and produces short ﬁlms. He says his year-long association with the Tibetan community has helped him evolve as a person and Film-maker Irshal Ishu with school children.
broadened his understanding about the community. “The idea behind this documentary is to demonstrate how unique the Tibetan educational system is in comparison to the Western or Indian method of teaching. Children in our schools are taught in a way that they grow up into caring and responsible human beings. Film-makers work on subjects such as religion and politics but hardly anyone talks about the need to make young Tibetans blossom into compassionate men and women,” says Irshal. For this 24-year-old ﬁlm-maker interacting with Tibetans, who are generally reticent and take time to open up, was not an easy task. There was also a communication gap because the children spoke only a smattering of English and Hindi.
Once they accepted Irshal, they treated him like a longlost family member. “The ﬁrst day in the classroom will always remain etched in my memory. Children beseeched me and poured their hearts out. I taught them how to write letters and of the 500 children more than half wrote to me personally sharing their joys and trauma. I teach 10 to 15 days in a month.” Explaining the teaching methodology in Tibetan schools, Irshal says that till Class V all students sit with their teachers on the ground. “Teachers give individual attention to every student. They teach Western sciences, Math, Tibetan and Hindi. Every Saturday, children are taught knitting, stitching, candle-making and cooking. We treat them like friends. As a result, they
conﬁde in us.” Interestingly, students voluntarily broom and scrub the ﬂoor. There are no servants and senior students wash clothes of juniors. Squeezing time for his other ﬁlm projects, Irshal has completed a silent docu-drama titled Sold Out on child trafficking. He plans to screen this black and white ﬁlm at international festivals ﬁrst and then in Indian cities. His silent ﬁlm Fatal Love was screened at the Indian pavilion of the Cannes Film Festival in 2010. “The Uttar Pradesh Government has banned this ﬁlm [Sold Out] because I had shown worrisome statistics of child trafficking in the State at the end of the ﬁlm. What gave credence to the ﬁgures was that it was from the United Nations.”
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
DELHI TODAY RISE July FRI
SET 19 22 RISE 09 00 SET 21 43
RISE 05 33 SET 19 21 RISE 09 54 SET 22 17
RISE 05 34 SET 19 21 RISE 10 49 SET 22 53
Murder accused killed in ‘act of revenge’
NEW DELHI: A 35-year-old murder accused was shot dead at his house on Wednesday night allegedly by a group of men. The murder is suspected to be an act of revenge, as among the assailants was the brother of the man whom Salim was accused of murdering. Salim had survived another attack late last year and was crippled by bullet injuries. According to a complaint by his wife, Shahida Begum, due to his inability to walk, Salim had taken a room on rent close to his shop in Seelampur while she along with their children stayed in Chauhan Bangar. Around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Shahida went to her husband’s room to give him dinner. A few minutes later Salim’s attendant, Aamir, left the house for his prayers. Fifteen minutes later, ﬁve men, some carrying ﬁrearms, barged into the room where the couple was sitting. Among those who entered the house was Arif, the brother of the man Salim was accused of murdering. Arif then allegedly ﬁred a bullet which hit Salim’s forehead after which the ﬁve men ﬂed, leaving a profusely bleeding Salim behind. Shahida went to call her relatives and check on her children. Someone in the meantime informed the police who visited the spot and took the victim to the nearby Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. A case has been registered against Arif and two others and a hunt has been launched to arrest them, said the police.
Verdict on juvenile gang-rape accused deferred
Fate to be decided on July 25; victim’s parents demand death penalty GANG-RAPE CASE
activities; (3) Order the juvenile to perform community service; (4) Order the parent of the juvenile or the juvenile himself to pay a ﬁne, if he is over fourteen years of age and earns money; (5) Direct the juvenile to be released on probation of good conduct and placed under the care of any parent, guardian for any period not exceeding three years; (6) Direct the juvenile to be released on probation of good conduct and placed under the care of any ﬁt institution for any period not exceeding three years; or (7) Make an order directing the juvenile to be sent to a special home for a period of three years While the Board’s ﬁnal order on the juvenile’s alleged culpability is awaited, it has pronounced the judgment (presently kept in a sealed cover) in a robbery case purportedly involving him. The incident, according to the police, had taken place on December 16, shortly before the juvenile along with the
NEW DELHI: A Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) on Thursday reserved its judgment for July 25 on the fate of the juvenile accused, along with ﬁve others, in the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in a moving bus last December. The accused attained majority in June. The judgment was reserved by the Board presided over by Principal Magistrate Geetanjali Goel – which is conducting an inquiry to ascertain whether he is in conﬂict with law or not – after the counsel for the accused submitted his clariﬁcations and the police their replies to the same. The police had in their report described the accused as the most violent among the six persons allegedly involved in the case. Eagerly awaiting the
ﬁve other accused gangraped the student. The accused persons had in that case robbed a passenger named Ramadhar Singh of cash and a mobile phone before dumping him near IIT ﬂyover in South Delhi. The juvenile, who has six siblings, belongs to a poor family from Uttar Pradesh. His father is of unsound mind. About six years ago, he had run away from home and taken up menial jobs at eateries in East Delhi. He then started working as a
helper for various bus contractors, soliciting passengers. He was last employed with a travel agency in Karkardooma where he met Ram Singh, the main accused in the gang-rape case who was found hanging in his cell at Tihar Central Jail on March 11. The other adult accused persons being tried by the special fast-track court are Ram Singh’s brother Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Akshay Thakur. “As of now, the situation
is complicated as there have been conﬂicting judgments in the Supreme Court on the issue of the JJ Act overriding any other legislation. The issue of whether a juvenile involved in serious offences should be extended the beneﬁt of the Act is pending in the Supreme Court in eight writ petitions which were ﬁled after the gang-rape case. The Apex Court had heard the petitions in the second week of July and the judgment is awaited,” said Mr. Asthana.
judgment outside the JJB, parents of the victim sought death penalty for the juvenile. The victim had succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29 last year. In case the Board on the next date pronounces the juvenile as in conﬂict with law, child rights lawyer Anant Kumar Asthana said, it would call for a social investigation report through a probation officer. “The report would be about the overall background of the juvenile, on the basis of which the Board would issue
a dispositional order (judgment) preferring any one of the seven options under Section 15 of the Juvenile Justice Act, Rule 15 of the Delhi Juvenile Justice Rules,” he added. The options under the said provision are: (1) Allow the juvenile to go home after advice or admonition following appropriate inquiry against and counselling to the parent or the guardian and the juvenile; (2) Direct the juvenile to participate in group counselling and similar
Foreign media allowed to cover court proceedings
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday allowed three international news agencies – Reuters, AP and AFP – to cover the trial proceedings of the December 2012 gang-rape case here. However, the Court did not allow independent foreign journalists to do so. Justice Rajiv Shakdher gave the permission on a petition by a group of
foreign correspondents and members of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club here seeking review of the March 22 order of the Court allowing only national media to cover the day-to-day trial of the case. The petitioners had argued that they were registered with the Press Information Bureau of the Union Government and ﬁled reports from India for various media as responsible journalists.
Police wait for chain snatcher to ‘deliver’
NEW DELHI: The thrill of some policemen of having caught a chain snatcher red-handed with the stolen property in Mangolpuri here a couple of days ago soon vanished when they realised that the suspect had swallowed the chain. They are now eagerly waiting for the chain to pass through his body. The policemen were taking a round when they heard the screams of a woman named Ruma. They rushed towards her and discovered that a young man had seconds ago snatched her chain. They ran after the suspect and soon overpowered him. They were yet to recover the stolen chain from the person when, getting an opportunity, he swallowed it to evade arrest. Flabbergasted, the policemen took the suspect into custody and narrated the incident to their seniors. During interrogation, the accused identiﬁed himself as Gaurav Kumar (24), a resident Mangolpuri jhuggi jhonpri. “While producing him before a city court, we sought his custody stating that he had swallowed the case property. The court granted us ﬁve days’ police custody to recover the stolen chain,” said a police officer. The accused was subsequently admitted to a hospital where a team of policemen has been deployed to ensure that he does not escape, that he eats enough food and “delivers” in time.
In Delhi, rent may be linked to inﬂation
NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet
Woman sets herself aﬁre, critical
NEW DELHI: A 30-year-old woman sustained critical burns after she allegedly tried to immolate herself in Central Delhi’s Prasad Nagar on Thursday. Sources said the victim, Shahzadi Khatoon, had been depressed since the death of her husband two years ago. Around 9-30 a.m. on Thursday Ms. Khatoon poured kerosene oil on herself and set herself alight. On hearing her screams, the neighbours assembled and informed the police as well as the Delhi Fire Service. By the time the ﬁre was put out, the victim had already sustained 90 per cent burns. She was later admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where she is undergoing treatment and reported to be critical. The victim is survived by four children.
on Thursday gave in-principle approval for bringing in a new Bill under which rent in Delhi will be linked to inﬂation. The new Bill will replace the 1958 Act, which was sought to be replaced by a legislation in 1995 but that was not notiﬁed even after its enactment.
Officials in the Union Urban Development Ministry said the process of framing the new rent law will commence after withdrawal of the 1995 Act and the exercise will be carried out after consultation with all stakeholders. The existing Act is perceived to be “pro-tenant” and there has been a long-standing demand to carry out changes to make it “bal-
Cabinet gives in-principle approval for new Bill
anced” and “linked to inﬂation”. According to officials, since the Delhi Rent Act is likely to affect rent laws of other States in the country, it requires detailed and careful consultation.
The Confederation of AllIndia Traders (CAIT), an apex body of the business community, hailed the decision of the Union Cabinet to repeal the Delhi Rent Act, 1995, on Thursday and termed it a “wise step”. “For the past 18 years we were ﬁghting against the provisions of Delhi Rent Act, 1995, and were demanding amendments to protect traders and tenants from eviction from
their current business place on frivolous grounds of ‘bona ﬁde need’,” said CAIT national secretary general Praveen Khandelwal. Mr. Khandelwal said the government should now set up an “expert panel” consisting of senior government officials and representatives of traders, tenants and landlords to frame a balanced act to protect the interests of all groups.
Colleges come out with ﬁfth cut-off, reopen admissions
NEW DELHI: The ﬁfth cut-off list may be the last chance to grab a seat at Delhi University as some colleges have reopened admissions and a few popular colleges have their most coveted courses still open albeit with no or slightly reduced cut-offs. Gargi College, which had all its courses taken except Sanskrit and Commerce, has reopened admissions to History and Philosophy but has peculiarly increased its Com-
Man held on cheating charge
NEW DELHI: A 21-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly cheating a resident of Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh on the pretext of providing a job in Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. According to the police, Ram Raj Dangi was looking for a job last year and his searches on popular search engine Google returned the name and contact details of the accused Amit Chauhan. “Ram contacted Amit who charged Rs. 60,000 in two instalments and also made him submit a few documents. After collecting the second instalment, the accused gave Ram an appointment letter on the letter head of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and told him that he could join soon. Soon after receiving the money the accused person switched off his mobile phone. On suspicion, the complainant visited Metro Bhavan in Connaught Place and found that the appointment letter given by the accused was forged,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) S.B.S. Tyagi. A case was registered in March 2012 and since then the police were looking for Amit who was arrested from Connaught Place on Wednesday following a tipoff.
merce cut-off from 94.75 per cent to a range of 94 to 97 per cent. The college had almost all its seats closed in the second list itself but had to release the ﬁfth cut-off list owing to withdrawals. Hans Raj College still has Commerce and English open and Hindu College has its much-coveted Economics course open at the same 96.5 per cent. “It is open because we declared very high cut-offs to avoid over admissions, but it will not be reduced as we have arrived at the cut-off
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Naraina,Vikaspuri, Prashant Vihar, EDM), M2K (Rohini, Pitampura), G3S (Rohini), Satyam (Patel Nagar, Janakpuri, Nehru Place), DT (Shalimar Bagh, Saket, Vasant Kunj), Movie Time (Raja Garden, Pitampura), Cinemax, BIG (Odeon, Vaishali, Kaushambi, Noida), Wave (Raja Garden, Noida, Kaushambi), MMX, M4U, SM World, Galaxie, Star X (Vaishali), Movie Place, Movie Magic, FUN (Moti Nagar, Pitampura, Laxmi Nagar, Karkardooma), Spice (Noida), SRS Cinemas, JAM Shipra, Chaudhary (Ghaziabad), Movie World, Silver City (Ghaziabad), Inox (Faridabad), QCinemas (Faridabad). POLICEGIRI (Sanjay Dutt, Prachi Desai, Mukesh Tiwari, Om Puri, Prakash Raj): Golcha, Aakash, PVR (Saket, Citywalk, Naraina,Vikaspuri, Prashant Vihar, EDM), Cinemax, M2K (Rohini, Pitampura), G3S (Rohini), Satyam (Patel Nagar, Janakpuri, Nehru Place), FUN (Moti Nagar, Pitampura, Laxmi Nagar, Karkardooma), Movie Time (Raja Garden, Pitampura), DT (Shalimar Bagh, Saket, Vasant Kunj), BIG (Odeon, Vaishali, Kaushambi, Noida), Spice (Noida), Wave (Raja Garden, Noida, Kaushambi), Galaxie, Star X (Vaishali), SRS Cinemas, M4U, SM World, JAM Shipra, Movie Place, Movie Magic, Chaud-
hary (Ghaziabad), Movie World, Silver City (Ghaziabad), Inox (Faridabad), QCinemas (Faridabad). THE LONE RANGER (Sher Dil Janbaaz – Hindi): PVR (Naraina, Vikaspuri, Prashant Vihar, EDM), Star X (Vaishali), MMX, Movie World, Silver City (Ghaziabad). RAANJHANAA (Dhanush, Sonam Kapoor, Abhay Deol, Swara Bhaskar): FUN (Moti Nagar, Pitampura, Laxmi Nagar), M2K (Rohini, Pitampura), PVR (Saket, Citywalk, Naraina,Vikaspuri, Prashant Vihar). FUKREY (Ali Fazal, Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Manjot Singh): Vishal, M2K (Rohini, Pitampura), FUN (Moti Nagar, Pitampura, Laxmi Nagar), PVR (Saket, Citywalk, Naraina,Vikaspuri, Prashant Vihar), DT (Shalimar Bagh, Saket, Vasant Kunj), SRS (Aditya, Jaipuria). YEH JAWANI HAI DEEWANI (Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone): Spice (Noida), M2K (Rohini, Pitampura), FUN (Moti Nagar, Pitampura, Laxmi Nagar, Karkardooma), PVR (Saket, Citywalk, Naraina,Vikaspuri, Prashant Vihar), Satyam (Patel Nagar, Janakpuri, Nehru Place). (BOOKING ENQUIRIES: PVR 51513391; Spice Gold 012043890000; Satyam Cinemas 25797385; Delite 23272903; Wave 51832222)
from past experience,” said Hindu College principal Pradyum Kumar, adding that there may be another list if there were withdrawals. “The Business in Management Studies interviews are coming up soon, and we anticipate that there might be some withdrawals from the Commerce students.” Kamala Nehru College had closed its English course but has now reopened it with a cut-off ranging from 88.25 to 94.75 per cent. Lady Shri Ram is still offering History with a reduced 93.75 per cent but its seats are fast ﬁlling up. “Most of the seats are ﬁlling up fast and most probably there would not be a sixth list for us,” said
college spokesperson Dr. Kannika. Lesser-known colleges, which had illegally closed their gates for admissions to students before the stipulated time in the wake of “over admissions”, surprisingly have many of their seats still on offer. ARSD College has Eco-
nomics, English and Commerce on offer; Maharaja Agrasen has Commerce and English open; SGTB Khalsa has Commerce and English open; Commerce and Economics are still open at the College of Vocational Studies and Swami Shraddhanand College is offering commerce at 83 per cent.
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In the Capital Today
Sree Dharma Sastha Sewa Samajam: Ganapathi Homam and other prayers, 6 a.m.; and Mahadeeparaadhana and Kathakali story ‘Dakshayagam’, 6-30 p.m., Sree Ayyappa Temple, CSC-9, Opposite Pocket F-26, Sector 7, Rohini. Third International Amateur Photography exhibition ‘Nice Foto’, Open Palm Court, India Habitat Centre, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Azad Bhavan Art Gallery, 645 p.m.; and Carnatic music concert by Madras String Quartet, Azad Bhavan Auditorium, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Sangam Park, Delhi Govt. dispensary; Programme of Recovery Group: Dwarka Health Centre, Sector-12; Naya Din Group: Goyala Dairy, C-286, Satya Public School Galli; Prashanti Group: Lord Mahavir School Sector-29, adjacent to Bhramaputra Shopping Complex ; Chetna Group: Delhi Govt. dispensary B1, Block Yammuna Vihar, near Mother Dairy; Navchetna Group: Ravi Raj Dharamshala, behind Ramlilla Ground, Shahdara; A.A. Ujala Group: Masihgarh Church, Sukhdev Vihar, near Escorts Heart Institute; A.A. Ashadeep Group: C-1, Safdarjang Development Area, Sahoday School, Jagriti Group: St Columba’s School, Bhai Vir Singh Marg, near Gole Dak Khana; A.A. Steps To Sobriety Group: Arya Samaj Mandir, near South Delhi Club, Greater Kailash –I; Muktidaan Group: St Marks Church, Punjabi Bagh West, 7 p.m.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations: Horizon series to feature exhibition of paintings by Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay,
Alcoholics Anonymous: Meetings – Awareness Group: CD Block Delhi Government dispensary, Pitampura; Suprabhat Group:
India Habitat Centre:
Published by S. Padmanabhan at Kasturi Buildings, 859 & 860, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002 and Printed by S. Ramanujam at HT Media Limited, B-2, Sector 63, Noida, Distt. Gautam Budh Nagar, U.P., on behalf of KASTURI & SONS LTD., Chennai-600002. Editor: Siddharth Varadarajan (Editor responsible for selection of news under the PRB Act).
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
“Bring civic bodies under Home Ministry”
NEW DELHI: North Delhi Mayor Azad Singh, Leader of the House Mahinder Nagpal and Standing Committee Chairman Ramkishan Singhal have issued a joint statement demanding that all the three civic bodies be once again made directly accountable to the Union Home Ministry. They also refuted Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s charges about “bad” maintenance of roads by the corporations. In a statement, the leaders said: “When the corporation was trifurcated, the Chief Minister had announced release of funds worth many crores as grant but no such amount has been received by the corporations till now. Besides, the interest rate of the loan given to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation is 14.5 per cent,” the statement said. “It is high time the civic bodies were made directly answerable to the Union Home Ministry and are given their rights by making amendments to the Constitution,” they added. BJP leaders alleged that the Delhi Government was only wasting the tax payers’ money in the name of improving the newly-constructed roads which were constructed by the corporation.
Prohibitory orders clamped on NH-8 as Maruti workers plan stir
Gurgaon DM disallows any procession without prior permission
demonstration, one of the sacked Maruti workers, on condition of anonymity, said: “We believe this (the representation by panchayats against proposed ĭ protest by Maruti workers) is scripted by the adminisAshok Kumar tration as an excuse to not grant permission for our programme. In fact, the loNEW DELHI/GURGAON: Gurcal villagers sympathise gaon District Magistrate with our struggle and it is P.C. Meena on Thursday isonly a few strongmen on the sued orders prohibiting any against the alleged anti- ty Commissioner saying payroll of the Maruti comprocession or sit-in along worker policies of the man- that they were against any pany who are opposing this. and on the National High- agement. They were aimed agitation by the workers. When 150 panchayats way-8 and the Industrial to coincide with the date of The orders further said that staged protest in our supModel Township, Manesar, violence last year, July 18. Gurgaon was one of the port in Kaithal, the Governwithout prior permission The orders, passed busiest towns of India due to ment overlooked it. But from the district adminis- through a public notice, said its diverse business activ- when a handful of people tration to maintain “peace, that there was an apprehen- ities and therefore, a condu- raised their voice against tranquillity and to avert sion of a possible tussle be- cive, congenial and peaceful our movement, the Governchaotic situation” in the ar- tween agitating Maruti atmosphere was the need of ment took notice. It is nothea. workers and villagers as the the hour. Calling it an at- ing but an attempt to muzzle The orders have come a panchayats of villages Ka- tempt by the Haryana Gov- the voice of poor workers, week before the proposed san, Dhana, Bas Padamka ernment to deny the Maruti but we are determined to agitation by the dismissed and Bas Kusla had given a workers their constitutional continue our ﬁght for Maruti Suzuki workers representation to the Depu- right to peaceful protest and justice.”
Maruti workers take their struggle to PMO
NEW DELHI: The struggle of the arrested and terminated workers of the Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar has reached the Prime Minister’s Office. A workers’ group, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, has petitioned the PMO and the Union Ministry of Labour demanding justice against “repression by the Maruti management in nexus with the Haryana Government”. They have also demanded a highlevel probe into the violence which took place on July 18 last and called for reinstatement of 546 permanent workers whose services were terminated allegedly without the management issuing any show-cause notice to them. While protesting at Jantar Mantar on Thursday, coordinator of Bigul Mazdoor Dasta Ajay demanded that the “deeply ﬂawed” investigation done by the Haryana Police be nulliﬁed and a fresh, high-level investigation initiated. He also highlighted the “collusion” of the Maruti management, administration and police against the workers. Talking about “violation” of workers’ rights, Ajay said: “As a result of the police investigation in the July 18 episode of violence, workers were
A WALK FOR PROGRESS
Water supply to be disrupted
NEW DELHI: The Delhi Jal Board has announced that on account of repair work being carried out, water supply will remain disrupted on Saturday in Defence Colony, Mukherji Nagar, Sunder Nagar, Darya Ganj, LNJP Hospital, Maulana Azad Hospital, Kashmere Gate, Mori Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Ramlila Maidan, part of NDSE, Nizamuddin, Gandhi Vihar and adjoining areas.
arrested, jailed and have been denied bail till date. The company at the same time terminated hundreds of workers accusing them of involvement in the incident well before the police investigation was completed.” “This year, the Haryana Police brutally lathi-charged the workers and their families and arrested some of those who gathered to protest peacefully at the residence of Haryana Industries Minister at Kaithal. There are innumerable such incidences of repression of the Maruti workers since last year which highlight the state of affairs on the issue of labour rights,” he added. Shivani from Stree Mazdoor Sangathan argued that the absence of an independent investigation into the incident amounted to “grave miscarriage” of justice as “the workers were being unfairly witch-hunted and disproportionately harassed”. “That is why we have petitioned the PMO for a high-level probe which should investigate into the role of hired bouncers, who were present at the spot, and also of the Haryana Police officers responsible for violation of legal guidelines regarding arrest and for custodial torture of arrestees and harassment of their family members,” she added.
Nothing wrong with Rajokari water, says Jal Board
through public water hy- raised to a minimum of drants. Samples of water tak- 12,000 samples during the NEW DELHI: A day after resi- en from the tube-wells tested monsoon season. It is pertidents of the jhuggi-jhonpri on Thursday have shown that nent to point out that water is cluster in Rajokari Pahari the water is of good quality,” tested for physico-chemical complained that water con- said a DJB spokesperson. and bacteriological parametamination led to a death and The DJB claimed it lifts ters. In addition, the National several people falling ill in 9,000-10,000 samples per Environmental Engineering the area, the Delhi Jal Board month only from the distri- Research Institute (NEERI), on Thursday claimed that the bution network for checking. as a third party quality and water being supplied in the “This ﬁgure does not include surveillance agency, lifts and area was ﬁt for use. the samples tested for con- tests approximately 375 samThe DJB on Thursday tinuous surveillance at treat- ples per month. NEERI is an claimed that its ‘Treatment ment plants. The number of ISO 9001-9001-2008 certiand Quality Control’ wing samples tested from the dis- ﬁed organisation,” the spolifted water samples from the tribution network is further kesperson said. area and found them to be safe for human consumption. It also denied reports that it was contaminated water consumption that led to the death of Chhote Lal, a 37year-old resident, on Mohammad Ali Wednesday. “As a precautionary meaNEW DELHI: South Delhi Municipal Corporation sure, the DJB has pressed inMayor Sarita Chaudhary on Thursday visited Rajokari to service additional tankers Pahari BSF Camp and Rajokari village area in Southand residents have been adWest District of Delhi where one person died and vised to take water from several were hospitalised after consuming them. The unauthorised setcontaminated water. tlement of JJ cluster, BSF She alleged that the Delhi Government and its camp located at Rajokari Padepartments were regularly ignoring developmental hari consists of about 500 works in the rural areas. “The water pipelines in hutments and pucca strucRajokari are at least 40 years old and damaged. In tures. In order to meet the spite of various complaints by the residents, no action water needs of the residents was taken by the Delhi Jal Board. This shows that the of the settlement, the DJB Government is not concerned about the has installed four tube-wells developmental works in villages,” she alleged. at nearby locations from where water is provided Staff Reporter
New school opens at Sundar Nagri
NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit opened a new coeducational senior secondary school at Sunder Nagri on Thursday. The school has been constructed over an area of 22,758 sq. metres. The new school has admitted those students from other neighbouring schools where the strength was more than the capacity. At present, it will have Classes from VI to XI while Class XII will be added next year. The double-storey building would have adequate number of classrooms to accommodate 1,500 students.
South Delhi Mayor visits Rajokari village
Youngsters taking part in the ‘Walk Towards Population Stabilisation’ at India Gate on Thursday to mark World Population Day. PHOTO: R. V. MOORTHY
Court rejects plea against DU semester system
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on
itions are liable to be dismissed.”
For experts to decide
The Bench refrained from weighing whether the semester system is good or bad for the students, saying that it was the domain of the experts in the ﬁeld. “We have consciously not been drawn into the debate as to whether the semester system is more appropriate than the annual system or vice-versa. The reason for this is clear. The courts are ill-equipped to comment on such matters or arrive at value judgments. These are matters for experts in the ﬁeld of education,” the Bench stated. On the petitioners’ contention that the Vice-Chancellor had used his
Thursday dismissed two petitions, including one by the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), challenging the introduction of the semester system in the University’s under-graduate courses from the 2010-11 academic session. A Division Bench of the Court comprising Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Veena Birbal rejected pleas which said that the new system was introduced in an arbitrary manner and in haste. The Bench said: “We have examined the matters from the stand point of law and have reached the conclusion that the writ pet-
emergency powers under the statute to push forward the semester system without there being a situation in existence calling for exercise of the power, the Bench said: “Resolution No. 04 of the Executive Council, inter alia, conﬁrmed the action taken by the Vice-Chancellor in exercise of his emergency powers under Statute 11-G (4) of the Statutes in approving, on 08.06.2010, the recommendations…with regard to amendments in Ordinances relating to the implementation of the semester scheme with effect from the academic session 2010-11.” The Bench also dismissed the petitioners’ argument that the Academic Council of the University, to consider
the implementation of the semester system, was convened on a short notice. The Bench said: “…the notice for the meeting was issued on 22.04.2011 on the basis of a requisition. It was an emergent meeting. The plea taken by the petitioners that very short notice was given would not be of any relevance in view of the fact that 101 members of the Academic Council were present in the said meeting along with nine special invitees. Furthermore, only six members had dissented to the decisions taken at the meeting. In other words, the vast majority of the members of the Academic Council voted in favour of all the proposals and decisions taken in the said meeting.”
Congress leader’s brother murdered
NEW DELHI: The brother of a local Congress leader and former Deputy Mayor Raziya Sultana was brutally murdered by ﬁve unidentiﬁed
deceased, who had around 14 cases of murder, rape, assailants who broke into his robbery and dacoity regisresidence in North East Del- tered against him, has been hi’s Seelampur area, the po- identiﬁed as Saleem (35). lice said on Thursday. The incident took place at According to the police, the around 9:30 p.m. . —PTI
New Delhi (Plm) New Delhi (Sfd) Chandigarh Hissar Bhuntar Shimla Jammu Srinagar Amritsar Patiala Jaipur Udaipur Allahabad Lucknow Varanasi Dehradun Agartala Ahmedabad Bangalore Bhubaneshwar Bhopal Chennai Guwahati Hyderabad Kolkata Mumbai Nagpur Patna Pune Thiruvananthapuram Imphal Shillong Max 35 35 34 35 28 25 30 27 37 34 35 33 33 29 32 32 34 33 27 35 28 34 33 28 34 26 32 33 26 26 32 26 Min 26 27 27 26 17 17 23 17 23 27 26 26 26 24 26 25 27 25 19 24 24 23 27 22 28 24 24 27 22 23 22 19 R TR 11 217 2 195 0 331 17 183 tr 208 1 415 11 258 1 85 9 214 0 268 0 201 0 173 2 449 12 358 4 300 0 1315 0 405 13 292 19 221 4 324 9 568 33 225 0 392 4 211 3 408 93 1189 3 557 3 154 2 316 11 600 116 299 2 409
The columns show maximum and minimum temperature in Celsius, rainfall during last 24 hours (trtrace) and total rainfall in mm since 1st June.
INSAT PICTURE AT 14.00 hrs. Observations recorded at 8.30 a.m. on July 11th.
Sapotra and Arnod 5 each, Banswara, Kotkeshim, Anta, Chabra, Sabla, Bakani, Pachpahar, Piawa, Nadoti, Gangapur and Mount Abu 4 each and Tizara, Nainwa and Jhalawar each 3, EAST UTTAR PRADESH: Bansi 9, Sidhauli and Handia 8 each, Ramnagar and Amethi 7 each, Rajghat 6, Karchhana] Birdghat, Bhatpurwaghat and Dudhi 5 each, Haidergarh, Nawabganj and Basti 4 and Fursatganj, Chhatnag, Meja, Gaighat and Bhinga 3 each, WEST UTTAR PRADESH: Mauranipur and Jalalabad 6 each, Aonla and Pawayan 5 each and Bareilly, Shahajahanpur, Nawabganj and Bharthana 3 each and UTTARAKHAND: Champawat and Haldwani 5, Joshimath and Pithoragarh 3 each. FORECAST VALID UNTIL THE MORNING OF 13th July 2013: Rain/ thundershowers would occur at many places over Uttar Pradesh, east Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand. Rain/thundershowers may occur at few places over Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Haryana. Rain/thundershowers may occur at a few places over Himachal Pradesh during next 48 hours and increase thereafter. Rain/ thundershowers may occur at one or two places over rest of the region . HEAVY RAINFALL WARNING: Heavy rainfall may occur at one or two places over southern parts of Uttarakhand on 12th and 13th July. Heavy rainfall may occur at one or two places over east Rajasthan on 13th. FORECAST FOR DELHI AND NEIGHBOURHOOD VALID UNTIL THE MORNING OF 13th July 2013: Generally cloudy sky. Light Rain/thundershowers may occur at one or two places.
NEW DELHI: The axis of Monsoon trough at MSL passes through Anupgarh, Hissar, Meerut, Kanpur, Allahabad and thence southeastwards. RAINFALL: Rain/thundershowers have occurred at many places over Himachal Pradesh and east Uttar Pradesh, at a few places over Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, east Rajasthan, west Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and at isolated places over rest of the region. The chief amounts of rainfall in cm are: (3 cm and above) HARYANA: Siwani, Jind, Hodal, Palwal, Pataudi and Jhajjar 3 each , HIMACHAL PRADESH: Berthin and Jhandutta 3 each, PUNJAB: Mukerian and Balachaur 4 each, EAST RAJASTHAN: Jhalarapatan 9, Chipabarod, 8, Chambal 6, Kumher, Mandrayal,
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
Hrithik discharged from hospital
First phase of Bengal rural polls passes off peacefully
Turnout in Paschim Medinipur was highest among the three districts INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE
Shiv Sahay Singh
KOLKATA: Barring a few stray incidents of violence, the ﬁrst phase of the ﬁve-phase panchayat election, in which three districts in the Maoist-affected Jangalmahal region of West Bengal went to the polls, passed off peacefully on Thursday. The Opposition, however, accused the Trinamool Congress of electoral malpractices. The voter turnout in Paschim Medinipur was the highest — 70 per cent — among the three districts, followed by 65 per cent in Bankura and 60 per cent in Purulia, State Election Commission officials said, adding that the polling percentage could rise once ﬁnal reports arrived from the districts. “Elections were more or less peaceful with reports of violence from certain areas. There have been no incidents of booth capturing though we looking into such allegations made by political parties,” State Election Commission secretary Tapas Roy said. Both the Left Front and the
Fear of a lake outburst in Badrinath area
DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre (DMMC) has issued a warning on the formation of a lake near Mana village on the Alaknanda River. This was in response to a National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) report that warned of a likely formation of a lake to the west of Mana village in Badrinath, which is in Chamoli district. The report, called Monitoring of Glacial Lake in Bhagirathi and Alaknanda Basins, stated that the heavy rainfall forecast between July 5 and July 8 in the State has raised “fears about formation or outburst of glacial lakes” near the village. As the report e-mailed to the DMMC does not clearly present the study as a warning, the DMMC authorities have asked the NRSC to clarify if the report was to be taken as one. Meanwhile, considering the present situation of the State, the DMMC has issued a warning for the area which is in Chamoli district. The NRSC report shows glacial lakes around the Bhagirathi, and the Satopanth glaciers. Also, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Bhuvan satellite shows a pre-event image that depicts a probable landslide area near Mana village in Badrinath.
MUMBAI: Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan was on Thursday discharged from a suburban hospital where he underwent a brain surgery to remove a twomonth-old clot. “I am fantastic,” Hrithik said while posing for the shutterbugs after being discharged from the Hinduja hospital on Thursday afternoon. The actor was operated upon last Sunday at Hinduja Healthcare Surgical in Khar for subdural hematoma (collection of blood in the space between the outer layer and middle layers of the covering of the brain) as a result of head injury he had suffered two months back while performing stunts for his upcoming ﬁlm “Bang Bang”. The shooting of “Bang Bang” was postponed following the incident. The actor is said to have been advised complete rest for at least four weeks. -PTI
People standing in a queue to cast their votes during the ﬁrst phase of panchayat elections at Lalgarh in the Paschim Midnapore district of West Bengal on Thursday. - PHOTO: SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH
Six killed in Jharkhand road mishap
RAMGARH: Six persons were killed and as many injured in a collision between a bus and an autorickshaw near Kothar area of Ramgarh district in Jharkhand, the police said here. All those killed were travelling in the auto. The seriously injured persons were referred to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi, the sources said. The bus was heading for Dhanbad from Hazaribagh.- PTI
Congress alleged that at many places Central forces were stationed at some distance from polling booths while the State police maintained security. This gave the the ruling party advantage as a section of the police was not known for its impartiality, Left and Congress leaders said. The State Election Commission, however, dismissed the allegations. As per the Supreme Court
order, more than 35,000 security forces were deployed for the ﬁrst phase, of which 15,000 were Central Armed Police Force personnel. Incidents of violence and threatening polling agents of political parties in the Opposition were reported from Sabang, Pingla, Garbeta in Paschim Medinipur district and certain areas in Bankura district. SEC officials said it
might direct a re-polling in three polling booths in Paschim Medinipur and one in Bankura. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, meanwhile, told journalists at the State Secretariat that peaceful polling in Jangalmahal was a “signiﬁcant achievement.” Attributing the success to her government, Ms. Banerjee later in the day said at an election rally in the
Hooghly district that people of the region “who have been shedding tears” are now saying that “for the ﬁrst time now they are being able to vote in peace.” The Opposition however claimed otherwise. “This is not been a free and fair poll,” chairperson of the State Left Front Committee Biman Basu said, alleging that Trinamool was successful in “vitiating the atmosphere.”
A July 7 RISAT-1 (Radar Imaging Satellite 1) image showing impoundment of water along the Alaknanda river in the Badrinath area is the cause of fear of a probable lake outburst in the area. The satellite images compare the situation of the area between May 23, June 21, and July 7 this year. Though the report was sent by the NRSC as information, fear of a tragedy similar to the one that occurred in Kedarnath has alarmed the State disaster management department. The Kedarnath catastrophe that happened on June 17 was also a result of a lake outburst. Gandhi Sarovar, which is about three km upstream of Kedarnath, is a snowfed and a rainfed lake placed near the Chorabari glacier, which feeds the Mandakini river. On June 17, due to heavy rainfall, water level in the Gandhi Sarovar started rising drastically. Professor Anil K. Gupta, Director, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, said, “An extreme ﬂood event occurred as the lake water, rain water, melted snow, and moraines [glacial debris formed from the glacial advance and retreat] from the Gandhi Sarovar rushed through the mountains to the valley and ﬂushed away everything on the way.”
‘BHAG MILKHA BHAG’
Corridors to link Delhi with Panipat, Alwar and Meerut
NEW DELHI: The government’s ambitious plan of connecting the National Capital Region (NCR) through a fast transit system--the Regional Rapid Transit system (RRTS)--has been permitted with the Union Cabinet on Thursday approving the constitution of National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited (NCRTC). The Union Cabinet approved the NCRTC under the Companies Act, 1956 with initial seed capital of Rs.100 crore as per the Company Act, 1956 for designing, developing, implementing, ﬁnancing, operating and maintaining the RRTS. The company can form subsidiary companies for implementing each corridor. An efficient and quick RRTS system is expected to help bring the NCR constituents closer and decongest the National Capital. “NCR is growing and for the model to be successful there is a need to have seamless and quick transport system that connects the region. In the absence of infrastructure, the concept of
Maize dryers to be set up in Punjab
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Government on Thursday directed the agriculture department to set up maize dryers in all the mandis at a cost of Rs.150 crore before the commencement of next kharif season. The directions were issued by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here as part of State’s crop diversiﬁcation programme, said an official release. Mr. Badal also announced to provide 75 per cent subsidy on the purchase of maize seed to growers in 12 districts during the next kharif season-2014.“This step will enable farmers to fetch remunerative price of the maize crop in the mandis because dried maize fetches better returns as compared to maize with moisture content,” he said.-The Chief Minister also said the maize growers will also be given subsidy of 50 per cent on the purchase of portable maize dryers. PTI
MAKING A POINT: Olympian Milkha Singh with the reel life cast of his biopic Bhag Milkha Bhag, Farhan Akhtar and co-actor Sonam Kapoor, during a promotion of the ﬁlm in Chandigarh on Thursday. - PHOTO: AKHILESH KUMAR
Bahuguna welcomes committee headed by PM
Bihar seeks World Bank’s assistance
PATNA: The Bihar Government on Thursday sought the World Bank assistance for linking areas with habitations of more than 250 people with all season roads. The assistance was sought during a meeting of World Bank country Director in India Oano Ruhul with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar here, an official release said. They discussed in detail the programme of connecting habitations of more than 250 people with concrete roads.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has welcomed the formation of a 12- member inter-ministerial committee headed by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for expediting the process of reconstruction and rehabilitation in the ﬂood ravaged areas of the State. The formation of the committee shows the seriousness of the UPA Government to expeditiously usher in normalcy to the nature battered State. The committee comprising of several Union Ministers will help in getting the
necessary funds and expertise needed for the gigantic task by overcoming hurdles faced by ﬁles while moving in different Ministries, Mr. Bahuguna told The Hindu here on Thursday. On the people who had gone missing in last month’s disaster at Kedarghati, Mr. Bahuguna reiterated that all those who do not return by July 15 would be declared ‘deemed dead’. The search operations for recovering missing persons dead or alive would however, continue beyond July 15 also, he said. Meanwhile, social activist Medha Patkar described
the recent calamity in the State as a man-made disaster adding that it was high time the corporate driven governments began thinking of socio-economic development based on ecological and sustainability parameters. “This disaster was the result of reckless misuse of the State’s natural resources. The large number of dams, barrages and tunnels built in the name of hydro electric projects had impacted the course of rivers which led to the massive tragedy”, Ms. Patkar said here after returning from Kedarghati. Urging the Centre to
come up with a policy that gave economic security to the people whose livelihood was linked with the Char Dham Yatra and tourism in Uttarakhand, Ms. Patkar wanted the Valleys through which the Bhagirathi, Ganga, and Alaknanda ﬂow declared as ecologically sensitive zones. “The Centre had done good by declaring the 100km stretch from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi an ecologically sensitive zone… the same provisions should be extended to all river Valleys in Uttarakhand in the larger interests of the people”, Ms. Patkar said.
a cohesive NCR has failed to take off,” said an official of the Urban Development Ministry. The NCRTC that will pave way for the implementation of the RRTS is expected to change that. To begin with three corridors connecting Delhi-Sonepat-Panipat, Delhi-Gurgaon-Alwar, and Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut have been approved. The Centre and the State Governments would contribute equally to the initial seed capital of Rs.100 crore. While the Urban Development and Railway Ministries will contribute 22.5 per cent of the amount, the National Capital Region Planning Board will contribute 5 per cent. The remaining amount will be reimbursed by the State Governments of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, who will pool in 12.5 per cent each. Officials said that while eight RRTS corridors have been identiﬁed earlier for the development in the NCR area, the NCRTC will take up three prioritised corridors. The ﬁrst corridor DelhiSonepat-Panipat is 111 km
long and the daily ridership is estimated to be 3.77 lakh in 2016 which may grow to 9.83 lakh by 2041. The second corridor Delhi-Gurgaon-Alwar is 180 km long and estimated to carry 6.9 lakh people daily in 2016. This will go up to 15.1 lakh by 2041. The third corridor Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut is 90 km long and would carry an estimated 5.7 lakh people every day in 2016 and 11.4 lakh by 2041. The total length of the three corridors to be developed by NCRTC is 381 km. The NCRTC is to be set up within a period of two months. The actual cost, ﬁnancing plan, RRTS alignments, real estate development, ﬁnancing through Transit Oriented Development, etc. will be ﬁrmed up and frozen in the detailed project reports of each of these projects while processing proposals for each corridor for sanction subsequently. The NCRTC shall be set up within two months after approval of the Cabinet. NCRTC is proposed as the implementing agency for taking up the RRTS project in the NCR.
Money stolen from car
GHAZIABAD: Taking ad-
vantage of an unlocked door, two youths on Thursday allegedly stole Rs.22 lakh from the car of a businessman in Kavinagar area here when the driver was parking the vehicle.- PTI
First all-woman varsity in Rae Bareli
NEW DELHI: The country will
have the ﬁrst all-women university and ﬁrst-ever aviation university in Rae Bareli, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency. They will be named after the former Prime Ministers, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the formation of the universities, which will be formed after the passage of respective Bills in the monsoon session of Parliament. To be created at approximately Rs. 500 crore in the 12th Plan period, the Indira Gandhi National University for Women would “set the pace for all-round growth and development of women in the country and suppleCM YK
ment the efforts of the government for women’s empowerment by giving them an increased access to employment-oriented basic courses and high end research,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters after the Cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Of the total population of the country at 121 crore, there are 58.6 crore women. Of them, 9.5 crore are in Uttar Pradesh. The Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation University will be established as a Central University and as an autonomous body under the administrative control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation at an estimated cost of Rs. 202 crore in Phase-l (2013-14 to 2018-19) on the land avail-
able with Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udan Academy (IGRUA), a society set up as an autonomous body under the Ministry of Civil Aviation) in the district. About 26.35 acres available with IGRUA has been identiﬁed for setting up the university in its ﬁrst phase. The Rajiv Gandhi National Aviation Bill 2013 also seeks to create a post of vice- chancellor by selection through a search and selection committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary with members representing the Ministries of Civil Aviation, Personnel & Training and Human Resource Development and for creation of a temporary post in the grade of Joint secretary to the Government of India for the position of Project Director, which would be ﬁlled up on deputation basis.
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
Women Shariat Courts to come up
FIRST OF ITS KIND
DINDIGUL: Women Shariat Courts, the ﬁrst of their kind in the country to handle cases relating to Muslim women and dispense speedy justice to them, will be set up in Dindigul, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad. They will adjudicate on matters such as divorce, polygamy, main-
tenance, custody of children and property rights, said Jaibunisha Reyaz Babu, State convener, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), Tamil Nadu Chapter, here on Thursday. The courts would function as per injunctions of the Holy Quran and dispense speedy justice to women. Only women will man these courts. Initially, the BMMA would train 20 women on rights of women as per the Holy Quran. The legal aid provider women would help harassed Muslim woman get legal re-
dress. The decision of the women’s court would be based on rights of women enshrined in the Holy Quran and it will try to curb practices such as triple talaq, polygamy and non-payment of maintenance. Based on their success, similar courts would be set up in West Bengal, Odisha , Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Jharkhand over the next six months, she added. Women have failed to get justice from the Imarat-eShariah or Shariah courts
run by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. The BMMA has been receiving grievances from Muslim women in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Jharkhand about unilateral divorce and total refusal of any maintenance or support by their husbands. Moreover, the practice of unilateral divorce has been sent through post card, SMS, letter, through relatives or just communication over phone.
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
Break the vicious cycle
Aarti Dhar In India, four million adolescent girls aged 15-19 years give birth every year. They account for 16 per cent of all births, and nine per cent of all maternal deaths. Every hour, three out of seven deaths due to complications from pregnancy, child bearing and unsafe abortions are among girls and women aged 15-24. Global estimates suggest 16 million teenage girls who give birth every year never had the opportunity to plan their pregnancy. Calling for greater attention to adolescent pregnancy, the World Population Day this year (celebrated on July 11) focused on complications from pregnancy and child birth which are the leading cause of death among girls in this age group in developing countries. Adolescent pregnancy is not just a health issue, it is a development issue. It is rooted in poverty, gender inequality, child marriage and lack of education, and often means an abrupt end to childhood, curtailed education and lost opportunities. According to the United Nations, there are over 600 million girls in the world today, more than 500 million of them in developing countries. With the right skills and opportunities during adolescence, girls can invest in themselves, their families and communities. “The greatest returns on investment come from in-
Investing in adolescent girls and community mobilisation are keys to prevent early marriages, pregnancies and maternal mortality
In India, 47 per cent girls get married before they are 18 years, according to the National Family and Health Survey-3 data. Early marriage leads to early child bearing as social pressures often force girls and young women to prove their fertility soon after marriage. As a result, they bear children early even before they are physically and emotionally ready to be mothers. The low status of girls, combines with lack of appropriate information and family planning and access to services prevents girls from negotiating the use of family planning methods, and plan when and how many children to have. The contraceptive use in this age group is also very low with only seven per cent using contraceptive and the unmet need for family planning is higher among 15-19 years at 27 per cent as compared to 13 per cent across all age groups.
THE OLD AND THE YOUNG: Third generation must get quality education.
TOO YOUNG FOR IT: In India, 47 per cent girls get married before they are 18 years.
PHOTO: V. GANESAN
vesting in adolescent girls. Educated and healthy girls have the opportunity to reach their full potential and claim their human rights. They are also more likely to marry later, delay childbearing, have healthier children, and earn higher incomes. They can help lift themselves and their present and future families out of poverty. They will be a force for change in their communities and generations to come”, said Frederika Meijer, UNFPA Representative India and Bhutan. Breaking the cycle of adolescent pregnancy requires commitment from nations, communities and individuals
in both developed and developing countries to invest in adolescent girls. Governments should accelerate efforts to prevent child marriage and its consequences, and promote policies that support girls’ rights, she said. Adolescents and youth must be provided with ageappropriate comprehensive sexuality education to develop the knowledge and skills they need to protect their health throughout their lives. However, education and information are not enough. Good quality reproductive health services must also be readily available for adolescents to make informed
choices and be healthy. On its part, India has adopted RMNCH+A strategy which marks a paradigm shift in integrating the health needs of country’s large young population in efforts to improve reproductive, maternal and child health. The reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child health and adolescent health cover the entire continuum of care for adolescent girls to their children. The strategy seeks to deliver health services in homes, and communities, along with public health facilities. The focus is on 184 high priority districts.
wenty-one-year-old Mohammad Hassan, sporting a leather jacket and denims, is deep in conversation with a group of village elders in more traditional attire, all squatting comfortably in the verandah of his mudplastered house. He is oblivious to the fact that this seemingly ordinary scene represents an unusual milestone in the journey of change that this border village in India's northern-most region is embarking on. For this dusty, non-descript Himalayan village has seen much over the centuries,
ON THE MARGINS
Included in the Indian territory way back in 1971, the remote border village of Hunderman Brok near Kargil is still awaiting a road that connects it to the outside world
from its role in the historical Silk Route, to families divided by the wars with Pakistan in this strategically-sensitive region and the more recent Kargil war. The conversation turns to the dismal state of education in the village, to the aspirations of its youth, and development and rights — all matters not usually pondered over in the struggle for survival in this challenging high-altitude terrain. The transition from past to present and a hopeful future becomes evident when Hassan's ﬁrm, young voice responds patiently to the elders' raspy questions. Village Hunderman Brok is not alone though. Nestled in one of the most picturesque regions, Hunderman Brok is merely 10 km uphill from the main Kargil town in Jammu and Kashmir. This village, like others in the region, remains cut-off from the rest of the world for almost six months a year due to extreme climatic
Calling for accountability
Smriti Kak Ramachandran To ensure that the existing Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) guidelines are enforced through a Central legislation, the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has circulated a draft titled Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) Bill, 2013, for inter-ministerial suggestions. The Ministry is concerned that instructions vis-à-vis the SCSP guidelines are not being followed in the absence of any legal enforcement and consequently the funds reserved for speciﬁc programmes are not being utilised. The SCSP and Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) were introduced in the ﬁfth ﬁve-year plan period as a means of eliminating the socio-economic deprivation faced by the SC and STs. A senior official of the
A draft Bill by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment advocates legislation to ensure implementation of Scheduled Castes Sub Plan/Tribal Sub Plan
Ministry said there have been concerns about the funds marked for the schemes not being utilised or being diverted. “The legislation will help in ensuring that the earmarked funds are not diverted. We are also proposing to monitor the scheme through a web portal.” The Narendra Jhadav taskforce that was set up in 2010 to review the implementation of the 2006 guidelines on the SCSP/TSP had also submitted that the policies had remained substantially unimplemented at both the Central and State level. It had also pointed out that there were hardly any departments and ministries that were showing their SCSP /TSP outlays under a separate budget head, and there was no transparency in its criteria. The taskforce had recommended setting up of nodal units in all the ministries and departments that would have obligations to earmark funds for the categories. The Ministry’s draft calls for earmarking and notifying a portion of the total plan outlay, proportionate as per
CHANNEL THE FUNDS RIGHT: Tribal women busy ploughing their ﬁelds. PHOTO: PTI
the latest Census ﬁgures available to the Scheduled Castes population by the Planning Commission in the case of the Central government or the Planning Department in the case of the State Government, in every ﬁnancial year. These funds denoted as the SCSP Fund will be utilised only for supporting the sub plans appraised and approved by the nodal agency and cannot be accounted
against the expenditure, if any, even in proportion to the Scheduled Castes beneﬁted under the general schemes. The draft Bill also calls for implementing ministries and departments to prioritise the development needs of the SCs in consultation with the primary stakeholders, design schemes that have potential to accelerate the development of the SCs and bridge the gaps in development in a time bound manner.
conditions. Located in close proximity to the town, the development scenario of this border village that was included in the Indian territory by the Army during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 still reﬂects a dismal picture. “During 1947, the Pakistan Army had their bunkers in Zanskar but soon they were pushed back by the Indian Army. During spring, a Pakistani officer came and took away his army members from Zanskar but before Losar (Buddhist New Year), the Pakistani Army seized Hunderman and stayed in control for the next 25 years. In 1971, Indian forces pushed back and regained control of the village. In this cross-border conﬂict, we suffered the most,” shares an octogenarian, also Hassan’s namesake, referring to the divided families across the borders. “We haven’t come a very long way from the past. Then, we had only a single school in Brolmo village [now in Gilgit-Baltistan]. After the war in 1971, the ﬁrst primary school was constructed only in 1974 which was later upgraded to a middle school,” says Ahmad Hussain. During those three years, when there was no education, a trend emerged across the village where youth sought out the livelihood option of being hired by the security forces as porters. The trend became popular and lasted through the decades. The third generation, to which Hassan belongs, has managed to get some education. “In Class VI, I was shifted to Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Leh. With a poor educational background, it was really difficult for me to keep up with the rest of my class. It is a problem I continue to grapple with, even in college,” says Hassan, who is currently pursuing
graduation from Government College, Chandigarh and wishes to come back and work for the development of his village after his post graduation. Unlike Hassan’s case, children have to go to the town after middle school but there is no road leading there. The so-called road that connects the village to the rest of the world was conceived under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and was to be completed in 2011-12. But for reasons unknown, work on the road lies abandoned. “We live on the border and yet are completely ignored by our government. In 1971, after the Indian Army took over, we had no identity for almost a year. Gradually, we tried to move on and adjusted with what we had. Today, children of Hunderman Brok are unable to get quality education and a major hindrance in achieving this is the absence of road and transport facilities,” rues Hussain. However, they are quick to acknowledge the role of the Indian Army. “They support us at each and every step,” they echo. But for education, children are forced to either leave the village and rent a room in Kargil or stay with their relatives in town. Only a few can afford this; the rest simply drop out of school. Those living away from home to study are not happy either. “I stay with my relatives in town to attend school. But it’s difficult to study here as during study hours, I have to help them with their chores. Parents, back home, always cooperated during study hours,” says 22-year-old Iliyas who has failed one of his Class XII exams. Villagers believe that if transport services were available then children from the village could have had better access to education after middle school. And better future perspectives! (Charkha Features)
IN BETWEEN: Unfolding tales of changing times.
Nothing is impossible
CHENNAI: Our belief in the Su- mons made a grave mistake. The
THIS DAY THAT AGE
cheon given by Mr. B. Hanumantha Rao, Managing Director of the Republic Forge Company, Dr. Teja said he expected a decision by the Government of India by the end of August about his scheme.
THE HINDU CROSSWORD 10823
Across 1 No point modifying the classic line of exercise (13) 10 He penned a few lines in the Claude Neal case (5) 11 Dominated boor never misbehaved (9) 12 Live broadcast at hand cut short by a monster (9) 13 Man’s caught the right ﬁsh (5) 14 Outdid with the material (7) 16 Accountant will point out about hundred making money (4,3) 18 Monotonous drone, returning to kill without hesitation (7) 20 Measure time with some cloth (7) 22 Fruit imported from Angola (5) 24 Composed mate, soft spoken…hasn’t changed over time (9) 26 Member of a religious doctrine, one returning some money (9) 27 African city didn’t start as a city (5) 28 Being moved mostly by information on church bullheadedness (13) Down 2 Associated with a few deliveries to the British city (7) 3 A royal house may be ancestral (9) 4 Groove for an hour in laziness (5) 5 A handy cure creates so much commotion (3,3,3) 6 It is not Scottish money which makes him wealthy (5) 7 Vehicle back up support — key to matters of heart (7)
1 8 10 11 2 3 4 5 6 7 9
(dated July 12, 1963)
preme One, who took many avatars in order to save us, must be unshakeable. We should not have any doubts about His Omnipotence. There is nothing that is impossible to Him. Even things that seem impossible can be achieved by Him easily, said Navalpakkam Vasudevachariar, in a discourse. The demons, who advised Ravana, made the mistake of underestimating Lord Rama’s prowess. They encouraged Ravana to continue along the sinful path he had chosen to take. They reminded him of his many battles and victories. They recalled how he had defeated Kubera, the God of wealth; of how he had defeated even Yama, the God of death; and even quelled Indra, the king of the celestial beings. Ravana had on his side a warrior of the calibre of Indrajit, who alone could destroy Rama’s monkey forces. Ravana had an army that had tasted many victories. But what did Rama have at His disposal? A motley crowd of untrained monkeys! Could He defeat the invincible Ravana with this monkey army? But here the deCM YK
monkeys by themselves could perhaps have never defeated Ravana. But they were led by Rama. Rama could transform even an indisciplined monkey force into a battle worthy one, capable of taking on the might of Ravana’s trained army. That is because, with Rama, all things are possible. Can anyone cross the ocean the way Hanuman did? He could do so because of his belief in Rama. Just as Rama could ﬁght the demons with the help of the monkeys, so could He build a bridge with the help of monkeys. One may wonder why He had to build a bridge to get across. It would not have been difficult for Him to get the monkeys across the ocean even without a bridge. He built the bridge for our beneﬁt. Those who bathe in the Sethu are absolved of their sins. Rama is the embodiment of kindness. He says that if we surrender He will deﬁnitely save us. But Krishna is even kinder. He does not make His promise along with certain conditions. He gently coaxes us and says: “Do not worry. Come and surrender”
Food crisis in Bengal
West Bengal is facing a food ‘crisis’ brought about by a fall in internal production and curtailment of supplies from other States — though only two months ago, Mr. S.K. Patil, Union Food Minister, had asserted that the granaries in the country were full and that there was a no question of food shortage anywhere. There is a shortfall of 17 lakh tons of cereals this year, the total requirement being 57 lakh tons at 15 ozs. per head per day. The deﬁcit in rice is estimated at four lakh tons. This shortage is not sudden and has been there for over 10 months now.
Dam across the Jamuna
While the twin projects of Pong Dam and Beas Sutlej link is under way, the Punjab Government have prepared blueprints for the construction of an earthen dam at Koch on the river Jamuna, at a site six miles from Tajewala head works. Estimated to cost Rs. 56 crores, the Koch dam will be 160 feet high, with a storage capacity of six lakhs acre feet of water and a power potential of 180,000 kW. Although the project will be of the usual multipurpose pattern, the immediate object is to provide reliable supply of drinking water to Delhi. The construction of the dam will ensure continuity of supply of 325 cusecs of water daily to Thermal plants for states Delhi to be progressively inDr. Dharma Teja, Chairman of creased to 600 cusecs later. At prethe Jayanthi Shipping Company, sent, the capital gets its drinking who has made an offer to the And- water mainly from the Hansi hra Pradesh Government to install branch of the Western Jamuna a thermal plant of a total capacity Canal. The Punjab Government of 200 mW. at Ramagundam and are already taking steps to expehand it over to the Government, dite construction of the Western said in Hyderabad on July 11, that Jamuna Canal Feeder of 18 miles some friends in Madras wanted at a cost of Rs. 50 lakhs. The feeder him to undertake a similar scheme will link the Western Jamuna Cain that State. Speaking at a lun- nal system to the Bhakra Canal.
8 Girl gives in to indecision, in an hour of black comedy (7,6) 9 Man’s groping for camaraderie (6,7) 15 Motherland’s divine punishment (9) 17 A river follows a story line as in the good book (9) 19 People turn into something else, say (7) 21 Writhing cobra that is living in the air (7) 23 Old man from Kerala may be broadcasting (2,3) 25 Boredom makes the nine frolic around the youth centre (5)
Solution to puzzle 10822
L A N C E O E C C H E R O U D N S A L V O T E M R I A G S S T R A T T A E N D E A R I D I C E F A S N G K I T T E L O U O T O F T C H I O S W V O R L L D N T P R I N C E C H A R M I N G E R A S E R U K O E MA I N S M N E C Y T H A T E T R S C A L E E D S E R E V P S I N L E T E A A N T E G E R T U E U EWE E D
A T P U
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
BSF jawan drowns in Mizoram
Central rule in Jharkhand revoked
Ahead of Saturday’s oath-taking, JMM insists none of its MLAs were guilty of corruption COALITION GOVERNMENT
RANCHI: The Cabinet on Thursday gave its nod for the revocation of the President’s Rule prevailing in Jharkhand since January. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MLA Hemant Soren, son of former Chief Minister Shibu Soren, had on Tuesday staked a claim to form a coalition government in the State with the support of the Congress and the Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD). President’s Rule will come to an end on July 18. The Congress had earlier this month announced its support for a JMM-led gov-
MANDYA (KARNATAKA): A Border Security Force jawan from the district drowned in the Surma river in Mizoram on Wednesday night, after a boat ferrying several people capsized. The deceased, Jayarame Gowda, is a native of Agrahara Bachahalli village in K.R. Pet taluk. His body will reach the district on Friday According to sources, Mr. Gowda, attached to the 142nd Battalion, had been working as a BSF jawan for 11 years. He and a few others were crossing the ﬂooded Surma river when the tragedy occurred. — Special Correspondent
ernment in the State in return for an alliance with the party in the 2014 general elections in ﬁve States. JMM leaders said they expected Mr. Hemant Soren to be invited by Governor Syed Ahmed to take oath on Saturday. At least three MLAs — one each from between the Congress and the RJD and Mr. Hemant Soren — are expected to be appointed. An MLA representing a smaller regional party could also get a berth in the 12-member Cabinet. A coordination committee consisting of leaders from the three parties is expected to be constituted after the government is formed, said State Congress leaders. “We are looking at this as an opportunity to resolve the problems of employ-
will help bring youth recruited by Maoists back into the mainstream,” he added.
Mr. Bhattcharya dismissed the criticism that several MLAs in the proposed coalition government were evading arrest in corruption cases. Among prominent JMM MLAs, Sita Soren, the daughter-in-law of Shibu Soren, faces charges in the 2012 cash-forvotes scam under Sections 13(2) and 13(1)(D) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, for allegedly receiving Rs. 1.5 crore to vote for industrialist R.K. Agarwal, an Independent candidate in the elections to the Rajya Sabha last March. A special CBI court had issued a second notice
JMM leader Hemant Soren is expected to take oath on Saturday
ment among youth. The JMM will form a policy to recruit more than 2 lakh tribal youth — and those who have domicile here — in grade III and IV categories in government,” said JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya. “This
against Ms. Soren on July 8. Besides, JMM MLA Nalin Soren, a former Agriculture Minister , is one of nine accused in the 2007 seeds scam case. “The arrest warrant against JMM MLA Nalin Soren had already been quashed. Regarding Sita Soren, we will take recourse to the legal procedure and she may surrender and apply for provisional bail,” said Mr. Bhattacharya. Besides the JMM MLAs, Congress MLA Sawna Lakra is in jail after being convicted by a Ranchi court last month for murder and more than 10 JMM, Congress, RJD MLAs are under the CBI scanner for their alleged role in the cash-forvotes scams relating to Rajya Sabha elections in 2010 and 2012.
Gehlot denies buying ‘Likes’ for Facebook page
Gutted ship goes down in the Indian Ocean
KOCHI: The ﬁre-gutted forepart of the container ship Mol Comfort has sunk, ending a month-long struggle to salvage it with a chunk of cargo on board. The vessel, which caught ﬁre while under tow to Port Sohar in Oman, went down in the Indian Ocean at a depth of 3,000 metres some 430 nautical miles off Mumbai early on Thursday. The owners of the sunken vessel have, in the meantime, positioned two tugs in the area to maintain watch and to thwart any major oil pollution.
Forensic experts examine Ilavarasan’s body
DHARMAPURI: Two forensic medicine experts, appointed by the Madras High Court, examined the body of E. Ilavarasan at the Dharmapuri Government Medical College Hospital on Thursday. The body of dalit Youth was found near the railway track behind the Government Arts College in Dharmapuri on July 4. P. Sampath Kumar, Professor of Forensic Medicine and Police Surgeon and VicePrincipal, Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Porur, and K. Thangaraj, HOD, Forensic Medicine, SRM Medical College, Kattankulathur, Chennai, arrived here on Thursday morning. The experts, who began their examination at the mortuary at 9.30 a.m., spent an hour at the hospital and took some X-rays of the body. They later visited the accident spot. They measured the distance between the place where the body was found
Plea against Chandy rejected
Forensic medicine experts on Thursday measuring the distance between the track and the place where the body of Ilavarasan was found. — PHOTO: N. BASHKARAN
and the railway track and also the distance between the spot where his motorcycle was parked and the railway track. The experts were briefed in detail by the Government Railway Police with photographs taken before
the body was lifted to the hospital from the spot. After inspecting the spot, they again visited the mortuary and studied the X-rays that were taken in the morning and till 2.30 p.m., they examined the body which
was kept in a freezer box after the ﬁrst autopsy done by a team of doctors headed by Dr. K. Thunder Chief, Assistant Professor, Department of Forensic Medicine. The team also held a meeting with Dr. Thunder Chief
and left for Chennai in the evening, sources in the district administration said. The Madras High Court on Wednesday asked the two forensic medicine experts to examine the body of Ilavarasan again to decide whether a fresh autopsy was required to ascertain whether it was a suicide or murder. The Bench, comprising Justices V. Dhanapalan and C.T. Selvam gave its direction to the experts to submit their report and also their opinion relating to the possibility of internal injuries. The expert panel is expected to place its report before the Madras High Court on Friday. The experts told media persons that they would conduct the examination as per the directions of the Madras High Court and submit their report as instructed and refused to divulge further details. P. Ramar, District Revenue Officer, among others, accompanied the two experts.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday rubbished claims by the Opposition BJP that he had bought fake ‘Likes’ for his official Facebook page. He said this seemed to be the mischief of those who were behind similar controversies on social media. “Instances of profane and sacrilegious material [being uploaded] on the Facebook pages of religious groups have been reported in the past. They have led to communal tension several times in different parts of the State. This seems to be the handiwork of similar mischievous elements,” said Mr. Gehlot. Mr. Gehlot said the technical team, which manages his Facebook page, had clariﬁed that the ‘Likes’ were not artiﬁcially enhanced. However, Mr. Gehlot admitted that it was strange that most of the new followers who “liked” his page were from the Turkish city of Istanbul. “I have no connection with Turkey. I have never been to Istanbul. This is rather strange.” Mr. Gehlot said this would not beneﬁt any political party. “It is sincere work which ultimately gets recog-
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot
nition. Popularity cannot be generated artiﬁcially for anyone,” he said. A BJP spokesperson here had claimed that Mr. Gehlot’s official Facebook page, “Aapka Mukhya Mantri” (Your Chief Minister), had 1,69,077 ‘Likes’ till June 1 and it shot up to 2,14,639 by June 30. Most of the followers were earlier from Jaipur, but “the most popular city” changed to Istanbul by month-end. Asked about the Supreme Court judgment disqualifying convicted politicians, Mr. Gehlot said he would ﬁrst prefer to study the verdict to understand the context in which it had been delivered.
Brinda Karat addresses SFI convention
SHIMLA: At the 4th Nation-
al Students Federation of India girls convention here, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat appealed to the activists to make ‘the women question’ the central question in society since major political parties are not making it a major issue.
THRISSUR: The Thrissur Vigilance Court, on Thursday, rejected a petition demanding a vigilance investigation into the alleged role of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the solar scam. The petition was ﬁled by Malayalavedi president George Vattukulam. — Staff Reporter
Terror suspect’s forensic report questioned
ALLAHABAD: The family of
Another actor linked to Team Solar
KOCHI: One more actor is suspected to have ties with Team Solar, the company ﬂoated by con couple Biju Radhakrishnan and Sarita S. Nair. Travel records of Uttara Unni, actor and daughter of senior actor Urmila Unni, using air tickets issued by Team Solar to travel from Chennai to Kochi has come out. Operators of a travel agency named Sky Fly in Ravipuram in the city had lodged a complaint with the Town South Police that Sarita defaulted on a payment of Rs.1.67 lakh.
terror accused Khalid Mujahid, who died recently in police custody under suspicious circumstances, on Thursday, rubbished the forensic report into his death and demanded a CBI probe at the earliest. The forensic and pathological report of Khalid’s viscera and heart and lung did not ﬁnd the cause of death. The report also found no chemical toxicant in any part of the viscera that was examined. “What about the obvious signs? The blood
marks, sprained neck, bruised face and the blue nails. They still have not been able to ascertain how he died and it only raises doubts,” Zaheer Alam Falahi, Khalid’s uncle told The Hindu. Mr. Falahi had lodged an FIR against 42 police personnel, including senior officers, under IPC Sections 302 (murder) and 120-B (conspiracy), accusing the State of “killing” his nephew. “The report was ﬁled on June 16 and it was released only on July 11. Why such a delay? It can only raise doubts that the report must have been altered,” he alleged.
Activists ﬂay govt. for double talk
Act extended, and the Armed Forces (Special IMPHAL: The ninth death an- Powers) Act (AFSPA) to reniversary of Manorama main in force. Furthermore, Thangjam, who was found they said, the government murdered a day after she ignored Irom Sharmila, who was arrested by Assam Ri- has been on a fast-untoﬂes in 2004, was observed death since November 4, throughout Manipur on 2000, demanding repeal of the AFSPA, which confers Thursday. Leaders of non-govern- special powers on the Army. On June 11, 2004, personmental organisations and women vigilante groups nel of 17 Assam Riﬂes arspoke at meetings, under- rested Manorama at her scoring the need for partici- home at Bamon Kampu on the charge pation in the that she Assembly was a milelections to MANORAMA itant leadchange the ANNIVERSARY er. The mindset of next day, the people and to get draconian laws her bullet-riddled body was found near a mountain. withdrawn from the State. The elected members had Many alleged that she was failed to throw out these an- gang-raped and shot dead. A judicial inquiry was orti-people laws, they said. At a memorial service dered, but the guilty were held at Manorama’s village, never booked. The theory that she could activists criticised what they called the govern- have been killed while tryment’s double talk. Elected ing to escape did not hold representatives claimed water, as activists argued that thanks to peace that that the personnel could prevailed in Manipur, im- have easily overpowered pressive development the handcuffed girl without works were being undertak- resorting to indiscriminate en. At the same time, they ﬁring, even if had she tried wanted the Disturbed Areas to escape. Iboyaima Laithangbam
RAY OF HOPE
S Vijay Kumar
SOLAR LIGHT TO HELP FISHERMEN AVERT ACCIDENTS
ishing boats in Rameswaram will soon have high-beam solar powered lights which will help in averting mid-sea collisions. The initiative is part of the ‘Rameswaram Solar Power Mission’, an initiative of former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to be launched in the island town on July 19.
Abdul Kalam sea. There were a few instances of defence or cargo ships running over the boats, resulting in deaths or injuries to ﬁshermen. The mission is being implemented in association with the Ramanathapuram district administration, We Serve Foundation of Stalwart Energy Pvt. LTD and NGOs. “The house of Dr. Kalam in Rameswaram will be declared a ‘solar house’. A 6-KW solar plant has been
The mission would illuminate Pamban bridge with solar lights
A majority of ﬁshing boats in Tamil Nadu still use conventional lanterns while venturing into the
installed to provide uninterrupted power supply. The plant will cover the ‘Mission of Life’ gallery and ‘Knowledge Centre’ library of Dr. Kalam on the premises. Many students, tourists and local people visit the gallery and library and power cuts hamper the ambience…,” V. Ponraj, Advisor to the former President, told The Hindu on Thursday. Besides streetlights in Rameswaram, the mission would illuminate the world famous Pamban bridge across the sea with solar lights. The solar powered house of Dr. Kalam would be inaugurated by Dr. A. Sivathanu Pillai, Chief Controller of Defence (Research and Development), Defence Research and Development Organisation, and CEO of Brahmos Aerospace, on July 19.
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
Making bankers pay for failed gambles
FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
The RBI should adopt some of the bold and far-reaching proposals made by a British parliamentary panel for making banks and boards accountable
T.T. Ram Mohan
owever well-intentioned the Supreme Court might be in its efforts to cleanse the political system of criminals, its decision to bar any person who is in jail or in police custody from contesting an election to legislative bodies is a case of the remedy being worse than the disease. By extending the curtailment of the right to vote of a person in prison or lawful police custody to the right of the person to stand in an election, the Supreme Court has, in effect, left the door open for the practice of vendetta politics by ruling parties. All that politicians in power now need to do to prevent rivals from contesting an election is to ask the police to ﬁle a case and effect arrest. As per the 2004 judgment of the Patna High Court in Jan Chaukidar v Union of India — upheld by the Supreme Court on Wednesday — all those in lawful police or judicial custody, other than those held in preventive detention, will forfeit their right to stand for election. The judges relied on the Representation of the People Act (RPA), which says that one of the qualiﬁcations for membership of Parliament or State legislature is that the contestant must be an elector. Since Section 62(5) of the Act prevents those in lawful custody from voting, the reasoning goes, those in such custody are not qualiﬁed for membership of legislative bodies. But law enforcers are notorious for carrying out the orders of their political masters. Confusion and chaos will necessarily follow this order of the Supreme Court unless it is tempered along the lines suggested by the Election Commission, which wants only those cases in which charges are framed six months prior to an election to be taken into account. Less controversial is the court’s decision to declare Section 8(4) of the RPA ultra vires of the Constitution. Sitting MPs and MLAs will now automatically be disqualiﬁed upon being convicted of a serious crime rather than after all their appeals are exhausted. In India, appeals drag on for years, and certainly for more than ﬁve or six years, which is the tenure of an elected representative. Politicians have often taken cover under this section to continue as legislators long after the slow wheels of the law have caught up with them. But here too, there could be complications. An acquittal on appeal during the tenure of the legislature is one. Moreover, a by-election to ﬁll a seat vacated by a convict takes time and a government surviving on a wafer-thin majority could be jeopardised. Governments should be allowed to continue until by-elections are held to ﬁll vacancies caused by such disqualiﬁcations. Instead of taking a narrowly legalistic view, courts should also consider the likely practical consequences of their judgments.
he ﬁnancial sector in the West imploded in 2007, causing a downturn in the world economy from which it is yet to recover. How to prevent recurrent banking crises has been uppermost in the minds of policymakers ever since. Progress has been painfully slow and there is a sense also that the reforms implemented thus far do not go far enough. It has been left to the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards to grasp the nettle. Its two-volume report contains some of the boldest and most far-reaching proposals made so far. The RBI would do well to embrace some of these proposals as part of India’s ongoing reforms in the banking sector. The report breaks new ground in several respects. One, it proposes a mechanism by which individual bankers can be held liable for negligence or serious lapses. Two, it makes several recommendations for improving the functioning of boards of directors of banks. Three, it moves further on tightening incentives for bankers than the proposals currently on the table. Four, it puts the onus on regulators to respond quickly to perceptions of serious inadequacies in standards or culture at any bank. Several large banks collapsed or were on the verge of collapse in the ﬁnancial crisis and had to be bailed out by taxpayers. Top managers at the banks lost their jobs but exited in a golden parachute, with hefty severance payments or pensions. The public in the West is outraged that hardly any banker has gone to jail or otherwise been held accountable. The U.K. Commission attempts to tackle this issue head on. It proposes a Senior Persons regime which will ensure that “the key responsibilities within banks are assigned to speciﬁc individuals who are aware of those responsibilities and have formally accepted them.” By thus assigning responsibilities in clear terms to speciﬁc individuals, the report lays the ground for enforcement action in the event of serious problems. Those at the top will ﬁnd it difficult hereafter to disclaim responsibility for actions that result in serious harm to the bank. The Commission wants regulators to review the responsibilities to Senior Persons from time to time and ask for responsibilities to be redistributed within the bank where, for instance, a bank undergoes rapid expansion. It asks that Senior Persons relinquishing ofﬁce prepare a handover certiﬁcate outlining how they have exercised their responsibilities
Lack of accountability
and indicating areas that their successors should be aware of. These are sound management practices that banks should have instituted on their own; that they have to be now told to do so is a reﬂection on how banks have been run. The Commission also proposes a Licensing Regime for a wider set of people than those covered by the Senior Persons regime. The broader regime would cover almost anybody whose actions could harm the bank, its reputation or its customers. All persons covered by the Licensing Regime would be subject to a set of Banking Standards Rules. These Rules would “encapsulate expectations of behaviour.” The Commission believes that the Senior Persons regime and the Licensing Regime together should enable regulators to hold individual bankers to account. Bank boards were found to be ineffective in the years leading up to the ﬁnancial crisis. The Commission makes wide-ranging recommendations to improve the functioning of boards. It notes that shareholders own too small a piece of banks to have the incentives to seriously monitor management. They also tend to be focussed on short-term performance of banks. It is the boards, therefore, that must bear the primary responsibility for oversight of banks. The ﬁnancial crisis highlighted serious ﬂaws in bank boards: overly dominant CEOs; weak Chairmen who tended to become cheerleaders for CEOs; lack of expertise amongst independent directors; and a failure on the part of independent directors to challenge the executive. The Commission raises the issue of whether the Nominations Committee, which selects independent directors, should be headed by the Chairman or by a Senior Independent Director. Boards tend to be self-selecting and self-perpetuating. The
Commission would like banks above a certain size to advertise the position of independent director. These are useful suggestions but they do not go far enough. Independent directors cannot exercise independence as long as they are all chosen by the management. (The Nominations Committee typically rubberstamps the choices of the CEO or the controlling shareholder). Other stakeholders — institutional shareholders, retail shareholders, employees — must have a say in the appointment of independent directors. The Commission recommends that the Senior Independent Director be asked to make an annual assessment of the performance of the Chairman. It wants him to explain to regulators how he has satisﬁed himself that the Chairman has fulﬁlled his role. Board members will be covered by the Senior Persons regime. An independent director or the Chairman must assume speciﬁc responsibility for the ﬁrm’s whistle-blowing regime. Regulators themselves must go through whistleblower reports both to be aware about concerns being reported and to ensure that whistleblowers are being treated fairly. The Commission might have gone further. We need a review of the performance of every independent director, not just that of the Chairman. Such a review can be done by peers on the board. Regulators must go through the minutes of board meetings and judge whether discussions are properly minuted and any meaningful discussions are taking place in the ﬁrst instance. The ﬁnancial crisis highlighted how executive pay can become a source of systemic risk. Managers can take huge risks knowing that if their gambles work out, they stand to be hugely rewarded; if their gambles fail, it is the taxpayer who bleeds. Moreover, managers can easily show short-term performance and walk away with rewards whereas the risks reveal themselves over a longer period. The Commission proposes several reforms to address the issue of performance incentives in banking. One, the creation of a separate set of regulatory accounts for determining remuneration, both at the company level and at the level of business units. Two, the rejection of the use of narrow measures such as return on equity for setting remuneration. Three, bank remuneration committees must disclose the measures used to determine remuneration (something that is sadly missing in annual reports of companies). Four, a signiﬁcant part of variable remuneration should be deferred — and for up to 10 years. One advantage with deferring compensation over a long period is that it allows remuneration to be recouped where required. The Commission would also like the regulator to explore the possibility of recovering remuneration already paid in cases where individuals are subject to enforcement action. It also
recommends legislation to ensure that, where banks receive taxpayer support, all deferred compensation and unvested pensions are cancelled. In the realm of regulation, the Commission’s innovation is the proposed creation of what it terms ‘special measures’ for regulators to deal with banks that are seen to be wanting in standards or culture. The Commission would like the regulators’ concerns on this account to be authenticated by an independent auditor. Once this happens, the regulators should have the powers to secure a commitment from the bank that it will take the necessary rectiﬁcation measures and subject itself to intense monitoring. The Commission also wants the U.K. to have a leverage ratio — the ratio of equity to assets — higher than the 3 per cent proposed under international norms. It wants the appropriate regulatory authority, not the U.K. government, to set the leverage norm. Finally, it proposes a number of measures to make the regulators themselves accountable to parliament.
Word of caution
Banks are apt to use their lobbying power with politicians to dilute regulations or regulatory actions. The Commission exhorts the Governor of the Bank of England to warn parliament or the public when this happens. Mervyn King, who has just stepped down as Governor, has already heeded this piece of advice. Several commissions have gone into the ﬁnancial crisis and proposed reforms. These relate mostly to issues of capital, scope and size in banking. It has taken a parliamentary commission to look into the inner workings of banks and focus resolutely on the accountability of bankers and bank boards. The Commission’s report goes to show that banking reform is too important to be left to regulators and bankers and that parliament, as the representative of the wider interests of society at large, has a great deal to contribute. The RBI should consider taking many of these proposals on board. Indian banking has been dominated thus far by public sector banks, which are intrinsically risk averse and more amenable to direction by government and the regulator. This has made for a certain stability in Indian banking. The situation is changing. The role of the private sector has grown and will grow further in the years to come, especially with a new set of players due to be given bank licences. Bankers’ accountability, incentives, the role of boards, culture and standards in banking — all these issues will loom larger than before. It is wise to put in place measures that will ensure that stability in Indian banking is not undermined by the quest for greater efficiency. (The author is a professor at IIM, Ahmedabad. [email protected]
Helping towns take ﬂight
emailed to Letters Letters [email protected]
must carry to the the full postal address and the full EDITOR name or the name with initials. should be Landmark verdict representatives protected from disqualiﬁcation welcome the Supreme Court ruling that MPs and MLAs will be disqualiﬁed from holding membership of the House the day they are convicted of offences, without being given three months’ time to appeal the conviction. The court has done the right thing by striking down as unconstitutional Section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, that allows convicted lawmakers time to appeal the sentence and obtain a stay of their conviction. The verdict must be shocking for many politicians who have made a mockery of the law. Convicted MPs and MLAs have continued to enjoy power all these years. The law should be equal for lawmakers and the common man. We hope our politicians will respect the judgment and will not subvert it for their personal gain.
Mohd Mudassir Alam,
he Airports Authority of India (AAI) has recently come up with two welcome proposals that aim to promote the development and use of smaller airports in the country. In the ﬁrst move, the AAI plans to go in for tax-free bonds of up to Rs. 1000 crore to modernise some of the smaller, nonmetro airports. In its other initiative, the Authority intends to offer a three-year concession scheme for airlines willing to operate to a select lot of smaller airports. To at least about 15 such airports, the AAI proposes to extend a 75 per cent concession on landing and related handling charges in the ﬁrst year, 50 per cent in the second year, 25 per cent in the third and normal charges from the fourth year. The expectation seems to be that once traffic gets generated from these centres, the airlines will be able to make them viable operations. The plan is to plough some funds this year to improve facilities in 15 airports, and over a period of time, to promote 51 other smaller airports. The bulk of these will be in central and western States, in addition to Uttar Pradesh. While Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has already backed the plan for State-run agencies to issue tax-free bonds of up to Rs. 50,000 crore, the Civil Aviation Ministry has yet to clear the proposal to introduce a concession scheme for airlines to ﬂy to small centres. The move to promote smaller airports should be a welcome signal for Air Asia, a new private joint venture airline that is set to begin operations in India this October. The AAI has offered its scheme to all airlines willing to consider this option. The idea will work well for an airline thinking of developing ‘hub-and-spoke’ operations. In this concept, airlines operate feeder services from the small (spoke) centres to a regional hub, from where regular ﬂights connect to the major and metropolitan cities in the country, in addition to providing links to international services. Though the Government of India did its best to encourage a concessional approach to ensure air services for the northeastern Indian States, the results have not been too successful. This despite the fact that air services provide the easiest and quickest connection to these States. A decade ago, low-cost carriers such as Air Deccan came like a whiff of fresh breeze to connect India’s smaller cities by air. But as costs rose, operators found that these ﬂights were not always viable. A combination of concessions in both landing charges and the VAT on aviation fuel, which the State governments must offer, ought to make these routes proﬁtable over the medium term. The Civil Aviation Ministry must take the initiative to push this concept as soon as it can.
pending appeal. Political parties will hopefully think a thousand times before giving the ticket to those accused of criminal acts, except when they genuinely believe that the charges levelled against a candidate are politically motivated. However, even under the changed circumstances, a person can contest and win elections till such time as he or she is convicted. If cases take decades to end, the deterrent effect of the order will be substantially reduced. For the Supreme Court order to have its full impact, the judicial system must ensure speedy trials.
H. J. Bhat
Bangalore he court has done well to disqualify MLAs and MPs from continuing in office on their conviction. But our politicians know how to get over it. They will operate through proxies. What we need is a party with strong democratic convictions which nominate candidates with strong democratic credentials. This cannot work in a one-man party or party which is run on the basis of legatees.
Kishanganj n any profession, employers insist that their employees should have no criminal record. That lawmakers alone are exempt from this is hypocritical. The judgment marks the beginning of equality for all and will help in restoring people’s faith in the political system.
R. Sri Amala Devi,
Chennai he verdict striking down Section 8 (4) of the RPA is welcome. However, the judgment alone cannot ensure the decriminalisation of politics. Only education and increase in voter awareness will help. The fear of backdoor entry in the legislature — by securing the party ticket for spouses and close relatives — looms large.
Chennai he Supreme Court has shown yet again that along with the Election Commission and the CAG, it is a pillar that strengthens our democracy. Time and again, the legislature has failed to perform its duties. Although the verdict is a relief for all those who wanted to see politics freed from criminals, a lot needs to be done. Fast tracking of the justice delivery system to ensure quick and prompt disposal of cases is a must now. Criminals with political aspirations exploit lengthy trials to their advantage.
and a host of other products. With the proliferation of small scale industries, regulating acid sale will be very difficult. A typical car battery electrolyte is a solution of sulphuric acid and water. This solution can cause chemical burns to the skin, especially to the face and eyes. A pervert can use it. The solution to acid attacks is deterrent and expeditious punishment.
classic example of one-sided analysis. One can expect Narendra Modi to act only as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. That he aspires to be Prime Minister cannot make him behave like a Prime Minister now. To accuse him for rescuing only Gujaratis and not others is unfair. Had he tried to help people from other States, he would have been criticised for over-shooting his powers.
later said he never gave that ﬁgure to the media. As Chief Minister, Mr. Modi can and should use his State’s resources only to help the people of his State. Was this not done by all other Chief Ministers? Every politician, from a local councillor to a Prime Minister aspirant, takes pains to project his or her image. What is wrong in that? The article by the Prasar Bharati chairperson, a political appointee, is blatant half truth.
Bangalore he article has provoked an angry response from many. They allege bias. Certainly the Guajarati version of Rambo has sold well. However all these folks who are mesmerised by Mr. Modi must understand that a million ‘yes’s for the person under whose watch the 2002 carnage occurred, and who is a symbol of parochialism and hatred, will not make him right or what he stands for right.
he Supreme Court’s direction to the Centre to formulate a policy to regulate retail sale of acid is laudable but not easy to implement. Acids are used in almost in all household cleaning chemicals, school and college laboratories, automobile batteries
he conviction in acid attack cases should be given wide publicity. This will instil fear in the minds of men. This and other measures, including a check on the easy availability of acids, will hopefully bring down the incidence of acid attacks on women.
ll leaders wanted to save only ‘their’ people. In fact, Andhra Pradesh politicians belonging to the Congress and the TDP had a public spat over taking rescued pilgrims back to the State. Mr. Modi has clariﬁed that he never said he rescued 15,000 people.
Jui P. Joshi,
he court rightly held that there is no reason our elected
he article “Rambogiri in the year of the ﬂood” (July 11) is a
he claim that Mr. Modi rescued 15,000 people was made by a party functionary, not Mr. Modi. Even the functionary
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
When facts are least sacred
Prashant Jha he battle over the Gujarat encounter killings of 2004 is being fought at multiple levels. An ideological and political conﬂict has erupted over the ways to ﬁght “terror.” The Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are engaged in an unprecedented inter-agency spat. The legal battle is centred on whether the encounter was “fake” and if so, who were the men behind it. With all these battles being fought in the public sphere, the media has emerged as a key player.
Civil liberties activists have criticised the media for being an IB mouthpiece in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, while others question the role of ‘activist journalists’
An unfair tirade against Modi
Venkat Goli erhaps, as Chairperson of Prasar Bharati, Mrinal Pande has not read the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990. Section 12 under “Functions and Powers of Corporation” states: “safeguarding the citizen’s right to be informed freely, truthfully and objectively on all matters of public interest, national or international, and presenting a fair and balanced ﬂow of information including contrasting views without advocating any opinion or ideology of its own.” Ms Pande’s tirade against Narendra Modi, in her article in The Hindu (Op-Ed, “Rambogiri in the year of the ﬂood,” July 11, 2013) is neither balanced nor fair, let alone it being a truthful and honest assessment of Mr. Modi. When the chairperson of Prasar Bharati is unable to present a fair and balanced view without advocating an ideology of hatred towards a person or an entity then how does one trust the institution that she represents and leads as chairperson? Perhaps, Mrinal Pande has not heard of guilt by association. Ira Pande, Mrinal’s sister and daughter of Gaura Pant — popularly known as Shivani, in a tribute to her Padma Shri awardee mother remembers her as follows: “Ama always referred to husbands as ‘malik’ (owner) for that is how she perceived the man-woman relationship in an ideal marriage.” Does that make Gaura Pant a patriarchal bigot? As Gaura Pant’s daughter, does that make Mrinal Pande, the author of the tirade against Mr. Modi, a bigot? Similarly, it is unfair for a statement that was not even attributed to Narendra Modi to be used to deﬁne him as a liar and paint him as parochial and immoral of wanting to save only Gujarati lives. Perhaps, Mrinal Pande does not even see hypocrisy where it lies. She accuses Mr. Modi of having this remarkable gift for spin doctoring and dodging the real facts with disarming sincerity, while pouring scorn over his opponents and dodging Q&A sessions. It is unfair to portray Mr. Modi talking about his achievements as spin doctoring, while the inability of the political establishment in power to communicate is somehow portrayed as digniﬁed silence. It is a different matter that the dispensation in power has not much to showcase as achievements in the last four years and thus no reason to communicate. Would Ms Pande tell us how many times the Prime Minister, with a responsibility to engage with the people, was involved in a Q&A? How many times has the Chairman of the National Advisory Council been involved in a Q&A? Surely, we can’t have different set of rules for different people. Also, why does appearing only in Q&As of select media sanction it as being a genuine Q&A? Perhaps, Mrinal Pande has not heard of the term sub-judice. If the highest court of our land ﬁnds Mr. Modi guilty of abetting violence, against a particular community, then he will be punished. If the highest court of our land ﬁnds laxities in Mr. Modi’s government for handling the riots then Mr. Modi must take responsibility and face the consequences. However, Ms Pande should remember that the Indian government, by not protesting against the United States’s refusal to grant Mr. Modi a visa, has not only undermined the judicial process in our own land and weakened our judicial institutions but also weakened our democracy. Should we not trust our own institutions to stand-up to the challenge rather than let another country prejudge the issue? Ms Pande should remember that the communal violence of 2002 was a tragedy that led to the loss of both Hindu and Muslim lives. Mr. Modi did not start these unfortunate riots. It is therefore irresponsible for her to claim Mr. Modi to have given birth to the parochially divisive frenzy of 2002. Perhaps, Mrinal Pande has never watched “Rambo.” Inspite of it being a mindless action movie, it has some
2002, and Muzzammil had become Headley’s handler around August 2004. Abhinandan Mishra, who wrote the story, said that “details of the report” had come to him from a “trusted source.” When The Hindu asked whether he had investigated the inconsistency in the report, Mr. Mishra avoided a direct answer. “Mr. Sinha, as a lawyer of Javed Sheikh, is entitled to his views. I stand by my story.”
Activists also point to stories with “misleading headlines” in Hindustan Times. On July 2, HT ran a story with the headline, “Ishrat Jahan had links with Kashmiri separatists: CBI.” Following a protest letter by Ms Grover, who pointed out that the story made no such link, HT issued a correction, admitting the headline was “erroneous and misleading.” On July 8, HT published another report, on its front page headlined “IB’s Ishrat tapes: ‘Machlee Number 5’ is code for Modi.” In a mail, the Justice for Ishrat Jahan Campaign said these “socalled IB’s Ishrat tapes do not have a single reference to Ishrat,” and alleged that HT had published a “plug story for IB.” On July 11, HT did a story referring to Amjad Ali, one of the men killed in the encounter, as Ishrat’s “friend.” This prompted a third letter to the editor, where Ms Grover said the charge sheet showed there was no link between Ishrat and Amjad Ali. When asked for his response, Sanjoy Narayan, HT’s editor-in-chief, said, “There was a mistake in one headline, and we clariﬁed it immediately. Our reportage on the issue has been objective, and our comment pieces have been clear. Read the paper as a whole rather than just a headline.” HT said it would carry Ms Grover’s letter on Friday. Ms Grover says all these stories distract from the core issue. “Instead of using this issue to kick-start a debate on implications of encounter killings, the media is lowering the threshold by speaking of ‘controlled killings’ and positing ‘law and order’ as opposites.”
On June 13, Headlines Today played unsubstantiated tapes of an alleged conversation between a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander and men killed in the encounter, supposedly plotting to kill Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi. It also produced a letter written by the IB chief to the CBI, pointing out that the IB had prior inputs about these threats. A story on the India Today website stated, “Noted terrorist David Headley has also revealed to the FBI that Ishrat Jahan was a suicide bomber of the LeT.” A group of civil liberties activists, in a signed statement, has pointed out that the tapes were aired 24 hours before a hearing in the Ishrat Jahan case. “The attempt was to undercut the investigation probing the conspiracy hatched by the officers of the Crime Branch in eliminating Ishrat and three others by somehow tainting them with the terror tag.” Questioning the media for airing tapes “without forensic or voice tests,” they added, “Being the IB’s chosen one for their dirty tricks is not something to be particularly proud of.” When asked for a response, Headlines Today refused to comment. But a senior editor in the television industry, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “Most stories can be labelled as leaks or plants, but what needs to be scrutinised is whether the journalist has authentic facts and documents.” He added that the question of Ishrat’s “terrorist links” was an important one, for “at stake is the credibility and morale of India’s counterterror intelligence agency.” Vrinda Grover, lawyer of Shamima
Ishrat Jahan’s mother (left) and sister with supporters at a protest march. — PHOTO: SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY
Kauser, the mother of Ishrat Jahan, disagreed it was legitimate to carry such stories. “In that case, to be fair, say IB has given me this. Say an IB officer is accused and is sitting in a senior position. Say the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which interrogated Headley discarded his so-called statements on Ishrat in its ﬁnal report as not credible. And tell IB to show the entire NIA document and recording instead of selective leaks.”
others allege that certain media platforms are “peddling the CBI’s and activists’ line.” On June 29, Tehelka ran a story with the headline, “Rajinder Kumar to be arrested for his role in Ishrat killing.” It said, “News has just come in that Kumar will be an accused in the charge sheet to be ﬁled on 2 July,” and quoted a source saying that if he was an accused, “he will certainly face arrest.” However, the CBI charge sheet, when it came, did not name Mr. Kumar as an accused. Laxmi Murthy, a journalist who wrote a critical piece of the “media viliﬁcation of Ishrat Jahan” on the media website thehoot.org, believes journalists need to be careful not to turn into activists. “Drummed-up propaganda, without evidence, is the easiest thing to counter, and only gives ammunition to the other side.” Rana Ayyub, the reporter who wrote the story for Tehelka, rejects the suggestion that her stories have turned out to be inaccurate. “The charge sheet says it was a joint operation of the IB and Gujarat Police. A supplementary charge sheet is expected. Our report had great impact, and for the ﬁrst time, there was a debate on IB’s role.”
Stick to facts
On June 22, Sunday Guardian (SG) ran a story which said that the interrogation report of David Headley, prepared by the NIA “claims Ishrat Jahan was a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative.” This was based on Headley stating that in “late 2005, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi introduced Muzzammil to me.” Headley then says in the NIA report, according to the story, that Zaki spoke of the “Ishrat Jahaan module” as one of “Muzzammil’s botched-up operations.” In a Facebook post, Mukul Sinha, lawyer of Gopinath Pillai, father of Javed Sheikh, one of the men killed in the encounter, pointed to a glaring contradiction. According to the NIA report, Headley himself had told interrogators that he had known Muzzammil since
Rajdeep Sardesai, editor-in-chief of the IBN 18 network, believes that in the battle of the competing narratives, the core problem is the “opaqueness” of the government information systems. “The Home Ministry should have provided a full public explanation, and if that involved criticising a government agency, so be it.” But since this did not happen, he argues, the media got into the tricky terrain of “source-based, speculative journalism.” This led to the media being “used, manipulated” by one agency against the other. Mr. Sardesai suggests a principle for reporting such “sensitive stories.” “Stick to facts which are in the public domain, report contents of the charge-sheet, previous judgments, official statements, and leave opinion for edit pages.” Going by the widespread criticism of their coverage, Indian news editors and reporters may want to imbibe that lesson. What of ‘activist media’ (The Hindu competes with Hindustan If activists accuse certain reporters of Times, named in this story.) [email protected]
pushing a particular view of the case,
memorable lines. One memorable exchange from “Rambo III,” set in Afghanistan during the Russian invasion, is between the local arms supplier Mousa Ghani and the protagonist John Rambo, as he prepares to play the Afghan game of ‘Buzkashi’: Mousa: God must love crazy people. Rambo: [getting on to the horse] why? Mousa: He make so many of them! Leaders in the political spectrum, just as leaders in all walks of life, come in packages. They’re often looked upon as crazy or eccentric in their own right and that doesn’t make them lesser leaders. In fact, successful leaders are the ones who are able to harness these personal traits in a constructive manner apart from their ability to continuously recalibrate and reinvent themselves. Rank authoritarianism to one can be construed as decisive by another. Appearing paranoid to one set of people can be construed as being perfectly sane, conﬁdent and well-prepared by a different set. Ultimately, in a land of such varied opinions, the majority opinion will have the most sanctity. Ms Pande is deﬁnitely entitled to her own opinion — after all this is a free country. Certainly, she can’t be entitled to her own facts. John Rambo isn’t entitled to his own facts either. (Venkat Goli is the founder of Yudofud, a conservative public strategy think tank. E-mail: [email protected]
) Mrinal Pande responds: am not surprised by the indignation of the protectors of brand NaMo, who skip the questions raised and move neatly towards raising doubts about this writer’s credentials, even pulling out in the process, irrelevant family connections from the last century. India has seen great generational changes in its women, and our family was no exception. My grandmother, born in the last decade of the 19th century, naturally reﬂected the ideas and beliefs of most grandmothers (and grandfathers) raised during the period but she was a wonderful human being and we remained close. My writer mother’s independent life and career as an eminent writer, and my own as a journalist, calmly proceeded to be shaped differently by democracy and the liberal education we were both fortunate enough to receive. And Amma was inordinately proud of the achievements of the succeeding generations. The same anxiety when failing to defend the indefensible propels a deliberate misreading of my criticism of brand NaMo as a defence of the Prime Minister. Mr. Goli is at pains to point out that the 2002 riots are sub judice. Do we take it, then, that all Indians must be guided by the vows of “omertà,” and refuse to speak on the subject till the ﬁnal verdict is delivered? The fact of the matter is that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) report and the description of the gruesome riots by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a black mark on the nation’s forehead, and his advice to the Chief Minister to observe his raj dharma, are clear indicators of the dubious role of the then government and its head. The fanatical defenders of any carnage ﬁnally come to exist in a different dimension, a twilight zone of half-truths and lies, while those of us who try to defend the people’s right to know the whole painful truth must continue mucking about in the dimension of facts. (Mrinal Pande, a veteran journalist and writer, is Chairperson, Prasar Bharati.)
Gas panel ﬁxed formula, not 2014 price
Ramprasad Sengupta n his article in The Hindu (editorial page, “Of Reliance, by Reliance, for Reliance,” July 1, 2013), Surya Sethi has criticised the recent government decision to hike the gas price from the existing $4.2/MMBtu [Million Metric British Thermal Units] to a reported level of $8.4/MMBtu, supposedly based on the formula of gas pricing given in the Rangarajan Committee Report on the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) mechanism. He has averred that there is absence of any evidence-based research backing key economic decisions. Since I was a member of the committee, my academic conscience told me that I should submit to the readers of The Hindu the rationale for the formula and also clarify precisely what the committee recommended and what it did not. First, the committee only outlined the principles and model for gas pricing, and did not recommend or calculate any particular price. It came up with a transparent formula that made use of various benchmark market prices to estimate the arm’s length price for gas, which the government is contractually committed to adopt under the PSC. The formula would yield the price with a three-month lag, using the benchmark market prices over the preceding 12 months. Since the government has decided to apply the formula with effect from April 1, 2014, the initial price on that date would depend on the relevant benchmark market prices obtaining over January to December 2013. Any calculation regarding what the price would be in April 2014 would necessarily have to make a number of assumptions and projections regarding the benchmark prices and volumes traded or sold in different markets and under various purchase agreements over the next six months.
So far as gas pricing is concerned, on the one hand there is a clear case for incentivising domestic gas exploration Surya P. Sethi responds:
and production on the supply side. Gas is the cleanest fossil fuel. India’s dependence on unclean fossil fuels like coal and oil is not only causing serious environmental problems but has also contributed to macroeconomic imbalances, with the import bill for such energy in 2010-11 equivalent to 38 per cent of export earnings. On the other hand, there is a huge unmet demand for gas. The Indian market is segmented, regional, and characterised by inadequate infrastructure and domestic monopolies. (National Oil Companies and Reliance Industries Limited are the only domestic producers, with imports being channelised mostly through Gas Authority of India Limited and Petronet LNG Limited). Therefore, it is important to protect consumers of gas from monopolistic exploitation. It is difficult to meet these multiple objectives with the single instrument of price. This is, in fact, the rationale for prioritising the allocation of gas to the power and fertilizer sectors, which are also themselves heavily subsidised by the government despite the administered gas price. While gas-on-gas competition, characterised by a large number of competing buyers of gas, is the soundest pricing mechanism when free trade prevails in a competitive gas market, the reality is that the Indian market is nascent and far from competitive. Finding it impossible to derive the competitive arm’s length price from domestic gas market transactions, the committee tried to discover the competitive price from various trade transactions carried out at arm’s length in the global market. As the global market is neither integrated nor very liquid, there is a practice of linking gas price with import parity oil price, which presumes oil to be a very close substitute for gas. This practice is adopted by an increasingly limited number of countries.
The committee considered such a presumption of substitutability as unreal in major user sectors like fertilizer and power in the Indian context. In fertilizer, it is only naphtha which is a possible substitute, and in power, coal is a more meaningful substitute. Besides, the transport sector drives the global oil demand, and there is no point in exposing power and fertilizer to externalities generated by the growth of the transport sector through oil price linkage. In view of the above, the committee felt that it was desirable to discover the competitive arm’s length price for the Indian market from transactions in the global market until such time as the Indian gas market matured enough to enable gas-on-gas competition. The discovered price should ideally represent the price that a global producer on average receives at the well head, which is estimated as the average netback price at the well head after appropriate deductions, such as transportation and liquefaction costs from the landed price. The committee considered two ways of discovering such a competitive price from global transactions: (a) Estimating the netback price of Indian Liqueﬁed natural gas (LNG) imports at the well head of exporting countries. Since there were several import sources, the average of such netback of import prices at the well head of export producers was assumed to represent the average global price for Indian imports. The netting back involved subtraction of costs of transportation and liquefaction of gas within the exporting country from the Free-on-board (FOB) LNG export price for Indian imports. (b) Estimating the average of prices prevailing at the trading point of transactions at major global hubs or balancing points of major markets of gas of different continents. The balancing points recommended for consideration are
Henry Hub in North America, and the National Balancing Point (NBP) in the United Kingdom for Europe and FSU (Former Soviet Union). As there is no such hub for East Asia, the netback price of Japanese gas imports was considered as a hypothetical balancing point for East Asia. This simulates the competitive well head price that Indian producers can expect from the world market.
In both estimations, the average transaction price has been taken in view of the non-integrated and somewhat illiquid character of the global gas market and trade. The weights used for averaging are the respective volumes of gas traded. Finally, the committee recommended that the mean of the two price estimates be taken as the basis for gas pricing. Since such an estimated price would change over time, the committee recommended that the prices and volumes for the trailing 12 months period be used for monthly price revision. It further recommended that the model can be reviewed and the feasibility of introduction of gas-on-gas competition as the pricing mechanism be examined after ﬁve years. While the committee did not recommend any particular price, and left price determination to the government, the estimated price as per the formula (a) and (b) for April 1, 2013, on the basis of data for the preceding 12 months, works out to $6.99/MMBtu and $6.68/MMBtu respectively, yielding a mean price of $6.835/MMBtu. This is the only reliable number for assessing the extent of price revision on account of the proposed formula at the present juncture, since the formula price for April 2014 would be a function of many factors and it would not be possible to predict this price with any degree of reliability at this point in time. Finally, doubts have been raised as to whether a large rise in gas prices would at all attract additional investment from home or abroad and relax the supply side constraint. The increase in investment and supply of gas would however depend not only on the price of gas, but also on the terms of the PSC. While the latter has drawn investments under the New Exploration Licensing Policy, serious problems have arisen due to the tendency of contractors to manipulate the investment multiple parameter by gold plating investment and controlling production, which adversely affect supply. In order to address this, the committee also recommended a new PSC model which, coupled with the recommendations on gas pricing, would do away with the perverse incentives that deprive the government of its share in the production or proﬁt by controlling production and gold plating investments. (Ramprasad Sengupta was a member of the Rangarajan Committee on Hydrocarbons and is Honorary Visiting Professor of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.)
Corrections & Clariﬁcations
● A sentence in “Security up in Mumbai” (Short Takes, July 11, 2013 ) read: “A tweet from the [email protected]
on May 5 two days prior to the blasts in Bihar …” It should have been be July 5. ● In “ISRO gets busy with GSLV launch” (July 10, 2013) the full form of of GSLV was given as Geo Synchronous Launch Vehicle. It should have been Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle.
n an honest academic endeavour to explain the well understood Rangarajan formula, Prof. Sengupta exposes most, though not all, of its shortcomings in establishing a defensible well head price for Indian gas. These shortcomings were detailed in my articles in The Hindu – editorial page, “Making a mockery of domestic gas pricing,” January 18, 2013, and Op-Ed, “[email protected]
Hindu,” “A committee to ‘administer’ a ‘market price’ for gas,” February 7, 2013. Prof. Sengupta also upholds my July 1, 2013 opinion in The Hindu by questioning the $8.40 price — now repudiated by the government — and the government’s decision to reward existing producers without addressing their blatant abuse of PSCs. His argument is that since global gas markets are fragmented and illiquid and the Rangarajan Committee could not assess how well head prices are determined elsewhere in the world, they chose to theoretically impute a well head price based on indices and prices that do not by themselves represent well head prices anywhere. Sadly, this approach fails to deliver a competitive arm’s length well
head price for Indian producers of dry conventional natural gas. The hub prices used as surrogates for the American and the European markets are mere indices and very little, if any, gas gets traded at these hubs at the quoted prices. In any event, the hub price index includes transportation to the hub and in the case of the U.K.’s National Balancing Point, the price index covers piped natural gas and LNG linked to crude — a concept that Prof. Sengupta himself questions for the LNG-dominated Asian market. Averaging incorrect and unrelated numbers cannot deliver the right answer. As for macroeconomic imbalances, a higher subsidy burden for fertilizer and power is as consequential as rising imports. And Prof. Sengupta admits that the right incentive structure for raising domestic output must go beyond the price for gas. The core questions raised in my July 1 opinion remain unanswered. Can Prof. Sengupta identify any gasﬁeld in the world that receives even his lower estimated price of $6.835/ Mmbtu at the well head for dry conventional natural gas? (Surya P. Sethi is formerly Principal Adviser, Power & Energy, Government of India, and Adjunct Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.)
It is the policy of The Hindu to correct signiﬁcant errors as soon as possible. Please specify the edition (place of publication), date and page. The Readers’ Editor’s office can be contacted by Telephone: +91-44-28418297/28576300 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday); Fax: +91-44-28552963; E-mail: [email protected]
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Twitter suspends @IndianMujahidin
NEW DELHI: Twitter on Thursday suspended an account purporting to be that of Indian Mujahideen. The move, which follows a request from the Union government, comes a day after Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the claims made on the account on Sunday’s blasts in Bodh Gaya, were being probed. Sources in the government said the IP address of the Twitter handle — @IndianMujahidin — was traced to Pakistan, but warned that it could be a proxy IP address and that the message could have been posted from some other country. — Sandeep Joshi
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
Govt. may ﬁle review petition against SC verdict on convicted lawmakers
It may seek referral to a ﬁve-member Constitution Bench LEGAL DEBATE
years in criminal cases (which are not covered by the provisions of disqualiﬁcation to contest poll), could continue to enjoy ......................................................................... their membership even afA review petition ter the latest verdict. Technically, such convicted can be ﬁled by the elected representatives government or by were not covered under any person through Section 8 (4) of the RP Act, PIL ......................................................................... which was struck down by the SC, he said. Hindu on Thursday that for Section 8 deals with disthe ﬁrst time in history the qualiﬁcation of elected repupon Supreme Court struck resentatives down a provision in the RP conviction for certain ofAct, 1951. “Since the issue fences. A person convicted involved important consti- of any offence and sentutional matter and the leg- tenced to imprisonment for islation made by varying terms under SecParliament has been de- tions 8 (1), (2) and (3) shall clared ultra vires, a review be disqualiﬁed from the petition might be ﬁled by date of conviction and shall the government or by any continue to be disqualiﬁed person through PIL,” he for a further period of six said. years from his release. He made it clear that The SC Bench found it MPs/MLAs or MLCs, sen- unconstitutional that while tenced to less than two convicted persons could be
In Gujarat, 57 MLAs face criminal charges
AHMEDABAD: The Supreme Court’s order of Wednesday, disallowing convicted Members of Legislative Assemblies and Parliament to continue in office, could prove disquieting to as many as 57 Gujarat legislators, including Cabinet Minister Babubhai Bokhiria. Mr. Bokhiria was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in the Rs. 54-crore illegal limestone mining case on June 15, the ﬁrst sitting Minister ever to be convicted in Gujarat. He continues to remain Water Resources and Agriculture Minister, Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s claim, “mein khata bhi nahi aur khane deta bhi nahi (I don’t indulge in corruption, nor will I allow anyone),” notwithstanding. The Minister has challenged his conviction and so escapes action under the Supreme Court order. Minister of State Purshottam Solanki has been accused of corruption in the award of contracts for ﬁshing in 58 reservoirs, when he was State Fisheries Minister in the previous Modi government, without going through the tendering process. Though the local police probed the case for nine long months, there was little progress. A special court in Gandhinagar then entrusted the probe to the AntiCorruption Bureau (ACB) in May. Signiﬁcantly, criminal charges have been framed against him. He also faces criminal charges in Maharashtra. Mr. Solanki was indicted by the Srikrishna Commission probing the 1993 Mumbai riots. Among the 32 BJP MLAs facing criminal cases is Amit Shah, former Junior Home Minister. He is an accused in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case. He faces two cases each of murder and criminal conspiracy and one of kidnapping and wrongful conﬁnement. Charges have been framed against him in a court. A close conﬁdant of the Chief Minister, he is now also BJP national general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh. According to Gujarat Election Watch, the list of top ten legislators facing serious criminal charges, like murder and rape, has six members from the BJP. The list does not include a former Minister in the Modi Cabinet, Maya Kodnani, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre. In all, 57 of the total 182 MLAs (31 per cent) face criminal charges. Percentage-wise, Congress leads with 20 out of 61 legislators, but in terms of numbers BJP is ahead. Criminal charges have been framed in cases against 10 MLAs — six from the BJP, two from the Congress and one each from the Janata Dal-United and the Nationalist Congress Party.
27 more villages under water in Assam
GUWAHATI: The ﬂood situation in Assam remained critical, with 27 more villages in ﬁve districts coming under water on Thursday. About 1.2 lakh people had been affected in nearly 450 villages, official sources said. Nine relief camps had been set up in two districts by the disaster management authority and about 3,000 people were being provided shelter there. Flood waters have destroyed standing crops in around 6,500 hectares. — PTI
has exceeded its powers conferred by the Constitution in enacting subsection (4) of Section 8 of the Act and accordingly subsection ĭ (4) of Section 8 of the Act is J. Balaji ultra vires the Constitution.” Informed sources said NEW DELHI: By striking down a safeguard provided in the government was conSection 8(4) of the Repre- sidering ﬁling a review petsentation of the People Act, ition, seeking referral of the 1951 — which allowed con- matter to a ﬁve-member victed MPs, MLAs and Constitution Bench. The Court even stated MLCs to continue in their posts, provided they ap- that “ … Parliament thus pealed against their convic- does not have the power tion/sentence in higher under Articles 102(1)(e) courts within three months and 191(1)(e) of the Constiof the date of judgment (by tution to make different the trial court) — and de- laws for a person to be disclaring it ultra vires the qualiﬁed for being chosen Constitution, the Supreme as a member and for a perCourt has engendered a le- son to be disqualiﬁed for gal debate vis-à-vis Parlia- continuing as a member of ment’s power to enact such Parliament or the State a law. Legislature.” The apex court on The former secretaryWednesday observed: general of Lok Sabha, “…Parliament, therefore, P.D.T. Achary, told The
Judgment triggers debate on Parliament’s power to enact laws
disqualiﬁed from contesting elections, they could continue as MPs/MLAs and MLCs once elected. “A reading of the two provisions in Articles 102 (1) (e) and 191(1) (e) would make it abundantly clear that Parliament is to make one law for a person to be disqualiﬁed for being chosen as, and for being, a Member of either House of Parliament or Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council of the State,” it said, and added: “Parliament thus does not have the power under Articles 102(1)(e) and 191(1)(e) to make different laws for a person to be disqualiﬁed for being chosen as a member and for a person to be disqualiﬁed for continuing as a member of Parliament or the State Legislature.” “The language of Articles 102(1) (e) and 191(1) (e) is such,” the court observed,
“that the disqualiﬁcation for both a person to be chosen as a member of a House of Parliament or the State Legislature and for a person to continue as a member of Parliament or the State Legislature has to be the same.” Sources said the government might also seek clariﬁcation from the court on another order of the Bench, which stated that: “… persons in lawful custody, whether on conviction in a criminal case or otherwise, cannot contest elections.” “What will happen to those candidates who get arrested after their nominations are accepted by the Returning Officer? Will this order be applicable to those in custody in relation to civil cases,” the sources asked. These, according to them, were some of the grey areas that need to be clariﬁed.
Concern over verdict barring jailed persons from contesting
NEW DELHI: Political parties are ‘deeply concerned’ and even ‘outraged’ at the Supreme Court verdict that any person in custody — whether convicted or not — could not contest elections. Even as they had apprehensions, politicians ‘cautiously welcomed’ the verdict, which disqualiﬁed convicted lawmakers from holding office or contesting polls. But the judgment barring those imprisoned from ﬁghting polls has opened up prospects of a confrontation between the judiciary and the political class. Both major parties, the
The verdict is out of order, and liable to be misused on a large scale
PRAKASH KARAT CPI(M) general secretary
Four Naxals surrender
NAGPUR: Four Naxals surrendered before the Maharashtra police in Gadchiroli district on Thursday. Manku (27) and Sushila (20) from Company No.10 of the CPI Maoist’s Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army, Rakesh (40) from the Perimily Dalam of CPI Maoist, and Sammi (30), the Section Commander of company No.9, surrendered at the police headquarters, said the police.
Congress and the BJP officially refrained from making a comment. Congress spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit said, “Till we see the full judgment, we cannot comment.” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said while the party welcomed any effort at ‘reform’, it needed more time to formulate a position.
But privately, political sources contacted by The Hindu expressed concern. A Congress member in the Lok Sabha said, “Imagine a situation when a political rival, days before the nomination for an election, ﬁles drummed up and false charges against me on any pretext, say for outraging a woman’s modesty. I will be picked up, and then cannot contest polls.” He gave other instances to show the implications of the verdict. “This is a country where thousands of Muslims are in prison, without conviction, where even Anna Hazare was in custody. How will it work?”
In a multiparty system, parties have their prejudices. A government can, out of political vendetta, ﬁle charges against a rival
D. RAJA CPI MP
In his initial response, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat told The Hindu that the verdict was ‘out of order, and liable to be misused on a large scale.’ He raised concerns, which appear to be shared by the wider political class. “This would mean that a
person in custody, even if charges are not framed, cannot contest elections. Then there are others who may be on bail. What happens to them?” He, however, said that the CPI(M) would take a ‘considered view’ on both judgments before offering a formal and detailed view. Communist Party of India MP D Raja said the verdict raised ‘very serious practical and political questions.’ “In a multiparty system, political parties have their prejudices. A government can, out of political vendetta, ﬁle charges against a rival. The logic of the verdict is not clear.” He added that politicians
participate in protests and agitations, and might be put in custody. “These are controversial issues and need to be examined in more detail.” Rashtriya Janata Dal spokesperson Manoj Jha had similar apprehensions. He said, “This calls for wider consultations. In a fragmented and unequal socio-political matrix, it is easiest to ﬁle charges against those ﬁghting for the marginalised, poor and vulnerable. Politicians can be accused of sedition, for waging war against the state, if they question the establishment and put into prison. Should they be de-barred then?”
Crucial meet on Telangana today
NEW DELHI: Congress general sec-
Moily gives quiet burial UPA counting on RIL poll funds, says Dasgupta to doubling of gas prices
retary Digvijay Singh’s remark on Thursday that a decision on Telangana cannot be delayed “anymore” has raised expectations that Friday’s scheduled meeting of the party’s Core Group will ﬁnally take a call on the future of Andhra Pradesh, even though the ensuing process could take a while. Mr Singh, who recently took charge of the party’s affairs in the troubled southern State, while saying that both options were still on the table – status quo or carving out Telangana — promised that there would be “no ambiguity” in the decision, when it is ﬁnally taken. Hinting that the contours of whatever emerges would take a while to sharpen, he added that the UPA allies would also be consulted and, in case, the government takes the plunge to form Telangana, the opposition parties will have to be taken on board as it would require amendment of the Constitution. On Friday, when the Congress Core Group gathers here, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana and Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarsimha will be present. Mr Singh, when he visited Andhra Pradesh last week, had asked the three men to prepare alternative roadmaps on the strategy the party and the government could adopt, keeping in mind the possibility that both options were still open. Of course, what makes the issue even more complicated is the fact that while Mr. Reddy favours a united State, his deputy wants Telangana. Apart from members of the Core Group, others who will be at the meeting will be Mr. Singh and his predecessor, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and, possibly, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Over the last fortnight, the UPA government has ﬁnally begun to show a sense of urgency in closing an issue that opened up when P. Chidambaram, as Home Minister, announced on December 9, 2009 that the govCM YK
N. Kiran Kumar Reddy
ernment was willing to carve out Telangana. Now, with general elections – that coincide with State elections in Andhra Pradesh – due less than a year away, there is a compelling reason for the UPA government to act. In 2009, the Congress did not just retain the State, it won a whopping 33 Lok Sabha seats. If the status quo is maintained, party sources say the Congress’s score could be less than 10; on the other hand, if Telangana is created, it could hope to win double that number across the three regions, thereby lessening the possible losses. The creation of Telangana would therefore, clearly be electorally expedient, especially at a time when the Congress is bracing itself for a sharp decrease in its share of Lok Sabha seats. But what has kept the government thus far from taking the plunge is its possible repercussions in other parts of the country. The chief among these concerns is the anxiety that dividing Andhra Pradesh could trigger demands from regions such as Gorkhaland and Bodoland for statehood, events with national security implications.
CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta on Thursday criticised the UPA government for accepting the Rangarajan Committee recommendation on natural gas price hike with a view to keeping Reliance Industries Limited in “good humour.” (Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily has since announced that no such price — $8.4 mbtu — had been ﬁxed or approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. He said the price levels under the Rangarajan formula in April 2014 would be applicable to domestically produced gas.) The MP alleged that the Manmohan Singh-led dispensation was looking at funds from RIL for election expenditure and hence, was not acting against the company in spite of several violations in the contract agreement. “Elections are in the offing and RIL is the biggest political investor. Several other parties too are maintaining silence on the issue for this precise reason.” Mr. Dasgupta ridiculed the Finance Ministry’s contention that RIL would receive the present rate ($4.2 per mbtu) until after the shortfall in production the company had assured was bridged. Finance
Elections are in the offing and RIL is the biggest political investor.
GURUDAS DASGUPTA CPI leader
Minister P. Chidambaram was trying to distance himself from the Cabinet’s decision as he had to contest the next election from Tamil Nadu, one of the States which would be worst hit by the abnormal hike in natural gas price. “Why didn’t Mr. Chidambaram oppose it when the issue came up in the Cabinet? He has made the statement only following the uproar in the State.” The CPI leader said the government had surrendered to RIL’s “armtwisting tactics” as was evident from the fact that the corporate, which had met the stipulated production levels in the ﬁrst year, recorded a drop in the past three years.
The government’s decision to allow hike in gas prices would result in a cascading effect on all sections and it was nothing short of “national betrayal.” “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia are pauperising the country. The economic crisis arose due to overdependence on foreign investments.” The government’s intentions were exposed when it did not consider production costs, international prices and automatic beneﬁt accruing to RIL through ﬂuctuation in exchange rates. “In the ﬁrst place, why is the company being paid in dollars when [the price of] coal and petroleum products is calculated on rupee basis?” Mr. Dasgupta asked. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member B.V. Raghavulu alleged that the ﬂawed price ﬁxation mechanism would mean windfall gains to RIL. The Rangarajan panel “ﬁxed the prices based on the international scenario. Will the same yardstick be applied to ﬁxing wages of workers?” The hike in natural gas price to $ 8.4 per mbtu would mean a Rs.16,000crore rise in fertilizer prices and Rs. 43,000 crore on account of power.
(Continued from Page 1) and it cannot be termed queries being made by the Ministry.” “The Office Memorandum dated July 4, from the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, has enclosed two editorials of newspapers and illustrated some of the issues [raised] in these editorials. That cannot be taken as an objective opinion of the Ministry of Finance. It cannot also be considered as [a] query by the Ministry of Finance.” Asked on how many occasions the Ministry had written such a note based on a newspaper editorial, Mr. Moily said he had nothing to say. Expressing surprise at the note, Mr. Moily said his Ministry had taken its opinion twice, and it was incorporated into the CCEA note. “The Finance Ministry, in comments, did not raise any issue of capping price or RIL being asked to sell gas at the old rate. I don’t think there is another interpretation open
to it. The CCEA’s decision has been taken after due deliberation, … once a considered view has been taken, we will stick to that.” In its July 4 note, the Finance Ministry said that once RIL overcame the ‘technical difficulty’ in producing gas from KG-D6, the government must ensure that the company made good the shortfall it still owed at the old price of $4.2 rather than getting the beneﬁt of the new price. But for the ﬁrst year, KG-D6 production was short of target since 201011. Against the target of 62.1 million metric standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) in 2010-11, RIL produced 55.89 mmscmd. In 2011-12, it produced 42.65 mmscmd, against the target of 70.38 mmscmd. Last ﬁscal, production at 27 mmscmd was way short of the 86.73-mmscmd target. Currently, it is turning out 14.01 mmscmd as opposed to the target of over 86 mmscmd.
Nod for Guwahati Quiet poll in Mahato’s village metro proposal
LALGARH (PASCHIM MEDINIPUR): At ﬁrst glance, Amlia, about 30 km from here, looks like any other village in West Bengal on polling day. But what makes the village different is it is the home of Chhatradhar Mahato, founder of the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC), also referred to as the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities. He is now in jail and charged under the Unlawful
Activities (Prevention) Act, besides other criminal offences. The long queues in front of the polling booths on Thursday give an impression that everything is normal in the village. The memory of the crackdown by the security forces in their hunt for Mr. Mahato and his associates does not startle the locals anymore. The only reminder that this area was once the epicentre of the Maoist activity is the presence of armed Central forces: but this time they are here to ensure a smooth poll.
The Guwahati metro rail proposal has been approved by the Union government. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told journalists on Thursday that the Centre had sanctioned Rs. 25 crore for conducting feasibility studies for the proposed service. The project, to be carried out in three phases and covering a total distance of 65 km, is estimated to cost Rs.14,000 crore.
Don’t divide A.P., says CM
J. Balaji reports: Mr. Reddy, who is in New Delhi, is reported to have made a plea for keeping the State united. “Please don’t divide the State at any cost and keep the unity of Telugus, I will ensure that the Congress gets a minimum of 20 Lok Sabha seats and 150 Assembly seats (despite TRS and Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy factors) in the 2014 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls”, Mr. Reddy told party seniors.
Mulayam meets PM, seeks changes in Food Bill
the proposed law. The party termed the Food NEW DELHI: Even as some Op- Bill “anti-farmer” and opposition parties slammed the posed the promulgation of an UPA government for taking ordinance for its implemento the ordinance route to rush tation but gave no indication through the National Food that it might withdraw its Security Bill, Samajwadi Par- outside support to the UPA ty president Mulayam Singh on the issue. Mr. Yadav also Yadav on Thursday met expressed his concern over Prime Minister Manmohan the proposed deferment of Singh and sought changes in the monsoon session. InGargi Parsai formed party sources said Mr. Yadav indicated to the government that his party would support the proposed food law only if the UPA incorporated certain changes in the Bill. The sources said Mr. Yadav sought assurances from the Prime Minister on the government enhancing grains procurement from Uttar Pradesh farmers at the minimum support price as against buying from private traders or importing grains to meet the legal requirements under the proposed Bill. The National Food Security Ordinance, 2013, notiﬁed last week, has to be ratiﬁed by Parliament within six weeks of the convening of the monsoon session.
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
GAIL employees give one-day salary
NEW DELHI: The employees of State gas utility GAIL India Ltd have contributed one day’s salary for relief and rehabilitation work in disaster-hit Uttarakhand. The contribution to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund was handed over to Oil Minister M. Veerappa Moily by GAIL Chairman and Managing Director B. C. Tripathi here on Thursday, a company statement said. Apart from this, GAIL has contributed Rs 2 crore to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund as an immediate measure as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative for Uttarakhand, where thousands lost their lives and many more were injured and rendered homeless by the ﬂash ﬂoods last month. —PTI
Ishrat family rattled by midnight knock
Alleges intimidation by a section of Intelligence Bureau and “some powerful people” SERIOUS THREAT
contract killer,” said Rauf Lala, Ishrat’s uncle. Before that, a radical Hindu outﬁt was ready to attack the family when it went to Delhi for a programme, Ms. Hashmi claimed. “Also when we were coming back from Haryana, a car from a local IB unit followed us for around 30 km.” She accused the IB of planting stories about Ishrat in the media to malign her name. Last week, the Central Bureau of Investigation ﬁled a charge sheet in the fake encounter case. Sandeep Joshi writes from New Delhi: “There is a serious threat to the lives of Shamima Kauser and her children,” counsel Vrinda Grover told The-Hindu. In the letter to the Home Secretary, a copy of which has also been sent to the CBI, Ms. Grover said: “The Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasised the need for giving protection to victims and witnesses in such circumstances. In accordance with the law, Shamima Kauser, her children, Rauf Lala and Mohinuddin Ismail Sayed deserve to be provided all necessary protection. “Given the nature of the case and the proﬁle of the accused, simply posting a couple of policemen as guards is likely to jeopardise their security even further. Appropriate and necessary steps are required to be urgently taken to ensure the safety and security of Shamima and others.” Ministry sources said Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had asked senior officials to look into the matter and enhance the security cover provided to the family if needed. But Ms. Grover said no one from the Ministry had replied to her letter. They contacted neither her nor Ms. Shamima. “We are yet to hear from the government. They are aware of the threat to Shamima’s family… They need to act fast.”
India within its rights to explore for oil in South China Sea, says Vietnam
NEW DELHI: Despite China having made noises about India exploring for oil in the Phu Kanh Basin of the South China Sea, Vietnam said on Thursday that New Delhi was within its rights to do so because the area came under its “exclusive economic zone.” Vietnam had been displeased with India’s decision to suspend exploration operations in block no. 128 over a year ago. The issue was the subject of diplomatic sparring among the three countries: Vietnam claimed that this block was within its exclusive economic zone; China said this claim crossed over into its maritime domain; and India maintained that it merely took up an offer from Vietnam, a sovereign country. On Thursday, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, at a meeting here with his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid, again egged on India to continue with “exploration and exploitation work” in the South China Sea. It was in deference to Vietnamese sensitivities that India didn’t announce withdrawal from block no. 128, but only “suspension of work.” Vietnam has said it has given India time till next year to consider taking up exploration again. India also indicated its willingness to play the game. “We have expressed our commitment to continue our collaboration with Vietnam in… exploration. We have reiterated that these are commercial ventures by Indian companies. We have reiterated India’s commitment to free passage in the international waters, and if there is an issue, it should be settled bilaterally through dialogue in a peaceful manner,” Mr. Khurshid told journalists.
MUMBAI: Family members of
Maoist arrested in Ranchi
RANCHI: A Maoist area commander, carrying a reward of Rs.2 lakh for his capture, was arrested at Burhmu in Ranchi district on Thursday. An amount of Rs.4.74 lakh in cash was recovered from his possession. “Arjun Singh alias Babua Singh, Maoist area commander, has been arrested. An amount of Rs 4,74,000 levy (extortion) amount has been recovered from his possession,” Senior Superintendent of Police Saket Kumar Singh said here. The rebel was wanted in more than 24 Maoist-related cases. —PTI
Ishrat Jahan, who was killed by the Gujarat police in a fake encounter in 2004, on Thursday said there was a threat to their lives and demanded adequate security. They alleged that they were being intimidated by a section of the Intelligence Bureau and “some powerful people.” Ishrat’s mother Shamima said at a press conference here that the family had, through its counsel, sent a letter to the Home Ministry stating Rauf Lala and Mohinuddin Ismail Sayed, who had been supporting the family, were also in danger. Film director Mahesh Bhatt and activist Shabnam Hashmi were present. “Two policemen were
LIVING IN FEAR: Ishrat Jahan's mother Shamima, sister Mussarat and uncle Rauf Lala at a press conference in Mumbai on Thursday. — PHOTO: VIVEK BENDRE
deployed outside our house yesterday [Wednesday],” said Ishrat’s sister Mussarat. “Around 2.30 a.m., a group claiming to be policemen started banging our door. They said they had come to see whether we are safe. As we did not open the door, they left after a while.” The two policemen, Rathod and Shirodkar, were missing after the incident. She added the
Mumbra police, however, said they had not sent anyone. This was not an isolated incident. The family members were being threatened by those who did not want them to ﬁght for justice, Ms. Shamima said. “Last month, while returning from the airport to Mumbra, our car was attacked by two armed men. One of them, we learnt later, was a
Divided industry, ‘propriety’ of process slow FDI in media proposal
June 29, he held consultations with representatives NEW DELHI: The Finance of the broadcasting sector and print industry. Ministry’s push to increase Informed sources said Foreign Direct Investment three major factors held up (FDI) caps in media has hit the decision, the ﬁrst one a bottle-neck with the being the divided view Ministry of Information within the broadcasting and Broadcasting (I&B) industry. yet to get back with its view General secretary of the on the matter. The MinisIndian Broadcasting try, for its part, has been Foundation Shailesh Shah unable to turn around conﬁrmed that the umquickly due to a divided brella industry body had media industry and the na- Manish Tewari not taken a uniﬁed deciture of the consultations tary Saurabh Chandra, sion on FDI in news media. process. By June-end, the De- said, “We are waiting for “We are for 100 per cent partment of Industrial Pol- I&B Ministry to get back.” FDI in distribution and enI&B Minister Manish tertainment channels, and icy and Promotion (DIPP), as per the recommenda- Tewari told The Hindu, support increasing the cap tions of a Finance Ministry “We are in the process of to 49 per cent in non-news panel to increase FDI caps consultations. This is a de- radio. But for news, our to 49 per cent in all media liberative exercise and we members have disparate segments under the auto- are applying ourselves to views.” matic route, asked minis- both the process as well as The Hindu is given to tries for their view. When substance. As soon as we understand that while cerasked about the status of are able to reach a deci- tain big networks like the proposal, DIPP secre- sion, we will get back.” On Times Television NetPrashant Jha work, Network 18 and NDTV are broadly supportive, others like India TV, Sun, Eenadu and Malayalam Manorama Group have objected to an increase in FDI caps. The second reason is that the Indian Newspaper Society (INS), an umbrella body of owners, proprietors, and publishers of print media, has not got back to the Ministry with a view. An industry source said, “There are both commercial and ideological factors. Many fear editorial control slipping away.” While the proposal was only to enhance the cap to 49 per cent, leaving the majority stakes with domestic owners, there was a perception it could bring in foreign investors “too close to control for comfort.” The third reason is that any such decision has to be preceded by “extensive consultations.” In September 2012, FDI caps were increased in certain media segments, after a process that involved the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. A senior official said, “There is certain propriety in the process. We can’t depart from it and take unilateral decisions, without any logic. Why was it 26 per cent earlier? What justiﬁes 49 per cent now? It can’t be arbitrary and has to go through all stakeholders.” He added that limits ﬁxed earlier have hardly been used on content and carriage. “If you have not hit the circuit-breaker yet, what is the case for upward revision? These questions have to be thought through.”
N. Satyanarayana passes away
HYDERABAD: Eminent Carnatic musician Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana passed away here on Thursday following a brief illness. He was 89. Satyanarayana, a recipient of Padma Bhushan and several other prestigious awards, died at his residence, family members said. Born at Anakapalle in coastal Andhra Pradesh, he enthralled music lovers both in India and abroad with his soulful rendition of Carnatic music. — PTI
Vietnam’s urging came a month after its President Truong Tan Sang visited Beijing. The Chinese state media then reported that the two sides had agreed to establish a hotline to resolve incidents involving ﬁshing boats in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese President has now received an offer from U.S. President Barack Obama to visit Washington later this month. The general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam has also been a visitor to Beijing and is scheduled to visit India later this year. Though Vietnam has been hedging its bets, sources in the government say, it solidly backed India whenever China objected to its exploration activities in the Phu Kanh Basin. When China served a démarche after India began moving heavy equipment into the Phu Kanh Basin some years ago, Vietnam issued a statement claiming sovereignty, along with a note that said the Chinese had no legal basis to claim ownership. Following the 15th Joint Commission Meeting here, India signed an agreement for $19.5 million in credit to Vietnam. India already has stakes in two blocks in the Nam Con Son Basin. These were allotted to it, along with Russia [then Soviet Union], during the Cold War in 1988. At that time, the two countries were steadfast allies of Vietnam, while Hanoi suspected China of playing the U.S. game to control its inﬂuence in South East Asia. China and Vietnam fought a brief, but bitter, border war, and the years before and after the Cold War also saw Thai-Chinese support to opponents of the Cambodian regime, which was backed by Vietnam.
Defecting Congress leader plays spoilsport in M.P. Assembly
Pheroze L. Vincent
BHOPAL: ‘Aaya Ram Gaya
Punjab to spend Rs.13,000 cr on roads
CHANDIGARH: Funds to the tune of Rs.13,740 crore would be spent over the coming two years for widening highways and inter-city roads running through Punjab, the State Government said on Thursday. The ﬁgure was revealed on Thursday by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. —PTI
TMC candidate casts another man's vote
KOLKATA: In a bizarre incident during the ﬁrst phase of the rural polls in West Bengal on Thursday, a Trinamool Congress candidate was caught on camera casting the vote of another person he claimed was inebriated in a booth at Jhalda in Purulia district. — Staff Reporter
Congress selling the country: Mamata
KOLKATA: The Congress, which is on its way out, is selling the country said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday while addressing an election rally in Hooghly district, before the second phase of the rural polls. “While the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has sold off this State, the Congress is selling off the country before going. They are looting the country and ﬁlling their own coffers.” Ms. Banerjee said referring to the increasing prices of fuel and fertilisers and the opening up of retail sectors to FDI. - Special Correspondent
Man held for bid to cut rape victim’s tongue
LUCKNOW: A relative of a rape accused tried to chop off the 19-year-old victim’s tongue in Pratapgarh district on Thursday in a bid to prevent her from making a statement in court. Her father, in his FIR, said Laljee, brother of the accused; Inder, another relative; and an unidentiﬁed person attacked her. But she escaped with injuries in the tongue, IG (Law and Order) R.K. Vishwakarma said, adding Inder was arrested. Lavlesh was already arrested in connection with the January 22 rape. — PTI
Ram’ politics reinvented itself in the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha on Thursday, when Deputy Leader of the Congress Legislature Party himself opposed a no-conﬁdence motion against the BJP government, saying Lord Ram had been insulted. Bhind MLA Chaudhri Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi, who after the end of the day’s proceedings joined the BJP, interrupted Leader of the Opposition Ajay Singh as he rose to move the motion. After Speaker Ishwardas Rohani asked Mr. Ajay Singh to present the motion, Mr. Chaturvedi stood up and said: “This motion has no mention of the 721 pilgrims of M.P. missing in Uttarakhand. Honourable Speaker, this motion also does not talk of former minister Ragahvji’s CD scandal. There are people who are saying Bachcha Bachcha Ram Ka, Raghavji Ke Kaam Ka! [Every child is Ram’s and is of use to Raghavji]. This hurts my sentiments and the sentiments of Hindus who form 80 per cent of this country.” Mr. Chaturvedi was referring to a tweet by the former Chief Minister and Congress leader Digvijay Singh, who on July 9 said this slogan, ﬁrst used by BJP leader L.K. Advani during his Rath Yatra in 1990, was being raised in Bhopal — ostensibly to mock Mr. Raghavji, accused of sodomy. Raghav is another name for Lord Ram. Mr. Chaturvedi’s intervention surprised the Opposition and most of the treasury benches alike. He continued his speech repeating the slogan as BJP leaders stood up and chanted “Shame” and, “Name the man who made the comment.” Amidst the din of slo-
Bedlam over Digvijay tweet on Lord Ram
ganeering by the BJP, it dawned upon the Congress that it had been betrayed. Mr. Ajay Singh stood up and asked Congress MLAs who supported the motion to stand up with him. All except Mr. Chaturvedi and Mahendra Singh Kalukheda stood up. Mr. Kalukheda raised his hand in support. The disruption forced the Speaker to adjourn the House for half hour. The Congress was unable to present its 27-point charge sheet against the government, which included allegations of corruption against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s family, even after the House reconvened. “The BJP and Shivraj Chouhan don’t have the guts to face the charges. Honourable Speaker, you can’t dismiss the noconﬁdence motion because of one MLA,” said Mr. Ajay Singh. On a request by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra, Mr. Rohani adjourned the House indeﬁnitely. This was the last session before the Assembly polls. Soon after, Mr. Chaturvedi drove with Mr. Chouhan to the State BJP headquarters, where he accepted the membership of the party. BJP State president Narendra Tomar said, “It is a rare moment in democracy when one follows his soul over his party ... The doors of the BJP are open for you.” Mr. Chaturvedi replied, “I am grateful for your help in my battle of principles. I will give every moment of my life to the BJP.” Mr. Chaturvedi has won four Assembly elections as a Congressman
since 1990. He was dismissed from the Congress on Thursday evening. His father Dilip Singh was a BJP MLA. Mr. Ajay Singh told the press that Mr. Chaturvedi, his second-in-command, had literally stabbed him in the back as he sat right behind him. “He never raised any objections at CLP meetings. This could not have taken place without a suitcase from Shivraj. These tactics to prevent debate is fascism.”
Thakur- Brahmin rivalry
In an exclusive interview to The Hindu, a senior BJP leader, who, according to multiple senior sources, plotted the defection, said the roots of the drama lay in caste rivalries in the Chambal Valley. “Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi [a Brahmin] was stiﬂed by the presence of Govind Singh [a Thakur], a greater leader than him, in Bhind. We began working on him after he was expelled [and later readmitted] from the Assembly in the previous monsoon session.” The Thakur-Brahmin rivalry causes a lot of violence in the Chambal division. He said Thakurs like Mr. Digvijay Singh, Mr. Ajay Singh, K.P. Singh and Govind Singh dominate the Madhya Pradesh Congress. The senior BJP leader added that it was he and Mr. Narottam Mishra (both Brahmins) who approached Mr. Chaturvedi. “He is from a BJP family. He has no ideology so it was easy to turn him. We planned to make him defect before elections. But it was Shivraj’s will that he be used to demoralise the Congress and stall the no-conﬁdence motion,” said the leader, who is also a member of the RSS.
AKHUN BABA (SWAT): After Tahira’s murder in an acid attack last year,the prime suspect, her abusive husband, lived in freedom until the case was taken up by Pakistan’s ﬁrst female jirga. Tahira had been married off at 12. But her mother Jan Bano says she became concerned when her son-inlaw, Subha Khan, started to beat and torture her daughter. It was he who poured acid on her and dumped her in a room to die, she says. Tahira’s face was destroyed. So was her upper body. She screamed in agony for 14 days before she passed away, Ms. Bano said. When her eldest son approached officials to complain, Khan and his father threatened him with dire consequences. Then they were sent a message by the local jirga, a group of male tribal elders that functions as a decisionmaking council in Pashtun society, advising them to marry one of their sons to one of Khan’s sisters by way of recompense for Tahira. Ms. Bano refused to do so and was still fuming when she heard that a group of women activists had set up a
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
Jirga in Swat, by the women, for the women
Anti-Morsy camp divisions to the fore
Unambiguous references to Islam causes concern RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY
gious and cultural diversity,” read the statement of the Coptic youth activists. The Maspero Youth Union — the name of the group — narrowed down its criticism to the ﬁrst article of the presidential declaration that stated that the Arab Republic of Egypt is a democratic system based on citizenship; that Islam is the religion of the state; Arabic is its official language; and the principles of sharia law derived from established Sunni canons are its main source of legislation. The Coptic group warned that “it seems the revolution is not complete”, and asserted its readiness to work for fulﬁlling its aspirations. The Tamarod campaign, which had steered the antiMorsy revolt through massive street demonstrations and a signature campaign, also found fault with the Presidential order. It said that under Mr. Mansour’s transition plan, power had been excessively concentrated in the office of the interim Presidency. The Muslim Brotherhood has already rejected the transition road-map, and is set to intensify its campaign to reinstate the deposed President. From its hub in front of Cairo’s Rabba Al-Adawiya mosque, Brotherhood activists had fanned overnight across Cairo to campaign for staging a “million man” march on Friday. With the Brotherhood at its core, Islamist groups have formed, “The National Alliance to Support Legitimacy” whose goal is to mobilise against the military coup and return Mr. Morsy to power.
SA ex-lawmaker to head U.N. Women
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka was the ﬁrst president of the Natal Organisation of Women, an affiliate of the United Democratic Front. The aim of the organisation, founded in 1983, is to increase women’s empowerment and promote women’s rights. In 2008, she established the Umlambo Foundation to support schools in poor areas of South Africa through mentoring and coaching for teachers. She is expected to take up her position at U.N. Women in August. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2013
DUBAI: Fine lines of disso-
CHALLENGING MALE DOMINATION: Tabbassum Adnan (centre), head of the women’s jirga, speaks in Saidu Sharif, the twin town of Mingora last month. — PHOTO: AFP
Saudi princess charged with human trafficking
women’s only jirga in Saidu Sharif, the twin town of Mingora, the largest city in Swat. Tabassum Adnan (25), head of the 25-member women’s jirga, says she ﬁrst had asked to join the main Swat Qaumi Aman Jirga to ensure justice for women, but they refused. This led to the creation of the women’s jirga, whose only aim, she says is to pro-
vide “legal support to women by involving police and government authorities”. She calls it Khwaindo Tolana (sister’s group) and claims to have helped 11 women get justice. Ms. Adnan raised Ms. Bano’s case and organised protests demanding legal action against Tahira’s husband, which persuaded police to register a case against Khan but he has since gone
on the run. Ms. Adnan has provided Ms. Bano with a lawyer to ﬁght her daughter’s case. For Saima Anwar, who claims to be the ﬁrst woman lawyer to have practised in Swat, it is a vital ﬁrst step. “This jirga is a good effort. It will provide women a platform and help them win their rights without fear or the interference of men,” she said. — AFP
nance have begun to emerge in the coalition opposed to the deposed President Mohamed Morsy, whose aggrieved supporters were gearing up for another show of strength on Friday. A youth wing of Coptic Christians, who had so far actively and unreservedly supported the coup that toppled Mr. Morsy, ﬁred the ﬁrst salvo against the road-map for political transition unveiled on Tuesday by interim President Adly Mansour. They are apparently dismayed by the unambiguous references incorporated in the 33-article transition document on the role of Islam in Egypt’s political governance. “The [constitutional declaration] is not compatible with the ideals of the 30 June uprising... that went out for a civil state that upholds reli-
The Egyptian daily Al Ahram reported on its website that this article — which has combined Articles 1, 2 and 219 of the suspended constitution — the latter being added by Islamists to outline the meaning of “principles of Islamic sharia” stated in the second article. The daily pointed out that article two of the 1971 constitution had also stated that the principles of sharia were the primary source of legislation, but there was no more elaboration.
LOS ANGELES: A Saudi princess, Meshal Alayban (42) (in picture) ,was charged with human trafficking for allegedly holding a Kenyan maid against her will in an apartment in Irvine, California, news reports said late on Wednesday. Prosecutors allege Ms. Alayban took the woman’s passport and forced her to work as a domestic servant for 16 hours a day, seven days a week for just $220 a month, the Los Angeles Times reported. A judge set bail of $5 million for her, and ordered her to wear a monitor if released from the women’s jail where she was being held. Orange County prosecutors identiﬁed Ms. Alayban as one of the wives of Saudi Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud. She faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted of human trafficking. — DPA
Second secret prisoner in Israel Immigration bill dying a ‘painful death’
But former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman described it as “an exceptionally grave case”, and the lawyer for Ben Zygier, who was dubbed Prisoner X when details of his case were revealed in February, said the second prisoner’s alleged offences were “sensational”. Israel insisted it was acting within the law in regard to secret prisoners, held in isolation and whose identity is concealed even from prison guards. The existence of “Prisoner X2” was revealed in an appendix to a document released by the Justice Ministry on the circumstances of Zygier’s death. It referred to “a separate prisoner jailed in Block 13”, a high-security cell in Ayalon prison. No further details were contained in the document. According to a report in Thursday’s print edition of Haaretz, based on accounts from prison service officials, Prisoner X2 is held in a cell without windows, has no contact with other prisoners or jailers, and prison guards do not know his identity or any charges on which he has been convicted. He is allowed a short, solitary walk in a courtyard each day, and is monitored by security cameras around the clock. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2013 Narayan Lakshman
WASHINGTON: U.S. President
JERUSALEM: Israel is holding
a second unidentiﬁed security prisoner in conditions of extreme secrecy, according to court documents released this week in relation to Prisoner X, the Australian-Israeli secret agent who hanged himself in jail in 2010 and whose case caused a sensation when it was exposed earlier this year.
The existence of another top-secret prisoner was acknowledged in the Israeli parliament on Wednesday, though no details were disclosed.
Barack Obama’s dream of comprehensive immigration reform is said to be in danger of dying a “slow, painful death” in Congress, especially after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday inched closer to rejecting key elements of a Senate-passed proposal. Emerging from a twohour caucus on how to break the logjam over whether to give the 11 million undocumented workers a pathway to eventual citizenship, Republican Congressmen said their
party had a “50-50 split” on the issue. Congress’ boxing match over the immigration bill is being closely watched in India too, especially as the “Gang of Eight” Senators, who pulled together the initial reform proposals, proposed a hike in the H1B visa application fee. This proposal, if passed, may have a negative impact on ﬁrms hiring foreign nationals. Republican delegates took up discussion on the comprehensive Senate bill passed last month, which included tough security measures including $46 billion in spending over ten years to employ 20,000 additional
agents at the U.S. border with Mexico and purchase “high-tech surveillance equipment”. Republican Representatives’ truculence on the topic is at odds with the views of former President George W. Bush, who enjoyed a high popularity rating with the Latino community during his time in office.
He said on Wednesday, “I don’t intend to get involved in the politics or the specifics of policy, but I do hope... during the debate, we keep a benevolent spirit in mind, and we understand the contributions immigrants make to our country.”
As the moderate-conservative split within the Republican Party became increasingly evident, the White House appeared to throw its weight behind the Senate bill and released a report ﬂagging the economic beneﬁts of reforms. In particular the report argued that passing reforms would boost the economy by 3.3 per cent by 2023 and help cut the deﬁcit by nearly $850 billion over 20 years. Conservatives fear that legalising undocumented workers could lead to future electoral losses for Republicans stemming from the entry of millions of new voters who would likely to vote for Democrats.
Neruda remains to be tested in Spain
SANTIAGO: A judge ordered the remains of poet Pablo Neruda to be tested in Spain to determine whether he died of poisoning. Judge Mario Carroza directed that Neruda’s remains be sent to the University of Murcia, where toxicologists will probe whether he died of cancer or was fatally poisoned by agents from the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. The judge approved “taking bone samples from Neruda for structural and biochemical analysis.” — AFP
U.S. drone lands on carrier deck
ABOARD USS GEORGE HW BUSH: A US Navy drone
China: 5,000-year-old ‘writing’ discovered
BEIJING: Archaeologists say they have discovered a new form of primitive writing in markings on stoneware excavated from a relic site in eastern China, dating about 5,000 years back. About 1,400 years older than the oldest known written Chinese language, they are around the same age as the oldest writing in the world. Chinese scholars are divided on whether the etchings amount to actual writing or a precursor to words that should be described as symbols, but say the ﬁnding will help shed light on the origins of Chinese language and culture. — AP .
successfully landed on the deck of an aircraft carrier on Thursday, in a historic ﬁrst for robotic ﬂight, officials said. The X-47B experimental plane had taken off from Maryland heading to the USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier off the Virginia coast. “Just got a look into the future of Naval Aviation,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus wrote in a tweet. “X47B successfully completed its ﬁrst arrested landing.” The X-47B is controlled remotely but has more autonomy than older drones such as the Reaper and Predator. Naval pilots require years of training to learn how to land a ﬁghter jet on a carrier deck at sea, and even experienced
aviators say touching down on a ship at night is a difficult challenge. But Thursday’s unprecedented landing by an unmanned plane showed that sophisticated computer software could perform the same task, guiding a robotic aircraft onto the deck of a ship in the Atlantic Ocean. The X—47B drone already successfully took off from a carrier in a catapult launch on May 14. The US Navy envisages the bat-winged, tailless plane becoming an important element in all air wings aboard carriers. — AFP
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
Our policy on FDI is akin to inviting guests over to our house, but when they arrive, we refuse to open the door
DEEPAK PAREKH HDFC Chairman
Highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what is needed for the U.S. economy
BEN S. BERNANKE Chairman Federal Reserve
Cabinet clears STC, ITDC disinvestment
NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, on Thursday, approved disinvestment of government stake in State Trading Corporation (STC) and India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC), which would fetch around Rs.30 crore to the exchequer. The Disinvestment Department had sought Cabinet nod to offload 5 per cent stake in ITDC, and 1.02 per cent in STC through the offer for sale route. The Centre at present holds 92.11 per cent stake in ITDC and 91.02 per cent stake in STC. — PTI
Iraq offers 3 oil ﬁelds to India on nomination basis
Controlling high inﬂation is the priority: Subbarao
INDORE: Giving no hope of a
Microsoft reshuffles company structure
NEW YORK: Microsoft is reshuffling its business to promote faster innovation and a sharper focus on devices and services. The move by the world’s largest software maker comes amid a steady decline in demand for PCs as people turn to tablets and other mobile devices. Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer said, in a memo to employees on Thursday, that the changes mean the company is “rallying behind a single strategy” and organising by function. Microsoft’s new divisions include engineering, marketing and business development. The company named veteran executive Julie LarsonGreen head of its devices and studios engineering group, overseeing hardware development, games, music and entertainment. She had been promoted in November to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering after Steven Sinofsky, the President of its Windows and Windows Live operations, left the company. Terry Myerson will lead Microsoft’s operating systems and engineering group, namely, Windows. Qi Lu will head applications and services. Mr. Ballmer stressed the company’s focus on ‘one Microsoft’ in his memo. He said Microsoft would move forward operating as a cohesive company rather than a ‘collection of divisional strategies’. — AP
The country is also ready to ﬁll the shortfall in India’s crude oil imports WIN-WIN SITUATION
cluding extending the interest-free credit period from 30 to 60 days,” he said. At the same time, Iraq has also agreed to renegotiate the contract for Block 8 with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh Ltd (OVL). Block-8, located in the Western desert in Southern Iraq bordering Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, was awarded to OVL in November 2000 by the Saddam Hussein regime. Block 8 already has a discovery, and is estimated to hold 645 million barrels of in-place reserves, of which 54 million are recoverable. The contract for all the four blocks would be a service contract wherein OVL will be paid a ﬁxed per barrel fee for its efforts in exploring and producing oil. Iraq also agreed to consider investing in the upcoming 15 million-tonne a year oil reﬁnery of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) at Paradip in Orissa. It has also been decided to establish a urea plant and phosphate fertilizer unit as joint sector projects in the Al-Qaim/AlAnbar area of Iraq. The natural gas for this plant would be tied up by the Iraqi government. India also expressed its intention for immediate import of sulphur from Iraq.
NEW DELHI: Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily, on Thursday, said Iraq had offered three discovered oil ﬁelds to India on nomination basis. The Middle-Eastern country, according to Mr. Moily, also expressed its willingness to ﬁll up the shortfall in crude oil supplies to India created by U.S. and EU-sponsored sanctions against Iran. In addition to this, Iraq also offered to renegotiate an oil block that has been pending since 2000. In view of the sanctions against Iran, which led to decline in crude oil imports from Tehran, Iraq has emerged as the second largest crude oil supplier after Saudi Arabia. “Iraq has offered to give state-owned Indian oil ﬁrms Kiﬁl, West Kiﬁl and Merjan, discovered oil blocks in the Middle Furat oilﬁelds, on nomination basis,” Mr. Moily told reporters here. Mr. Moily, during his last week trip to Iraq, had met Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Al Motlaq.
rate cut in its forthcoming policy review, the Reserve Bank of India, on Thursday, said it would assess growth, inﬂation and the external situation before taking a view, while still according priority to controlling ‘high’ inﬂation.
RBI Governor D. Subbarao presented an uncertain outlook for the economy, saying it was difficult to predict when global conditions affecting the rupee would ease. Speaking at an “outreach” programme near here, he said he would assess growth, inﬂation and the external situation while taking a view in the upcoming policy on July 30. The central bank would accord priority to controlling inﬂation, which still remained ‘high’, Dr. Subbarao said.
EU to impose duty on Indian jet fuel imports
LONDON: The European Union will levy a 4.7 per cent duty on jet fuel imports from India in addition to cargoes from the Middle East, an EU official said. The EU said last month it would impose the duty on imports from Gulf Cooperation Council states starting January 1, 2014, after removing the group from the generalised scheme of preferences (GSP). India has not been removed from the GSP, but the EU will remove the waiver because its oil products have become competitive in global markets. — Reuters
Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Veerappa Moily addressing the media in New Delhi on Thursday. — PHOTO: PTI
Gold surges Rs.610 on strong global cues
NEW DELHI: Gold prices zoomed to three-week high by surging Rs.610 to Rs.27,325 per 10 gram here on Thursday on brisk buying by stockists and investors driven by strong cues from global markets. The precious metal spurted to regain Rs.27,000-level after June 24 as it rose in global markets following Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke-backed sustained stimulus for some time. Silver jumped by Rs.1,400 to Rs.41,750 a kg. — PTI
Mr. Moily, who was in Baghdad for attending the Indo-Iraq Joint Commission Meeting , said that the offered oil ﬁelds were already discovered, and work on them could start immediately. “This is the ﬁrst time in the recent past that an oil-rich nation has offered ﬁelds on nomination basis. Previously, Iraq and other Gulf states had asked India to participate in an international competitive bid-
ding to get the oil ﬁelds,” he added. Mr. Moily said Iraq had offered to supply crude oil to India to make up any kind of gap that had occurred due to decline in supplies from Iran. “They have assured that they were ready to supply as much as India wants. We will ﬁnalise our requirements soon after due negotiations. It is also open to considering more favourable commercial terms, in-
“The rupee depreciation over the last six weeks has been because of global factors...It is difficult to say how long that effect will persist because it is factors beyond our control,” he told reporters here. The rupee has declined by about 9 per cent in the past three months and had touched a record low of 61.21 to the dollar on July 8. The currency recovered after the RBI and SEBI announced measures to curb volatility and speculation in the currency derivative market. The RBI’s efforts to contain inﬂation have yielded fruit, with the wholesale price index declining to 4.7 per cent, the lowest in over three years. However, retail inﬂation stood at 9.31 per cent in May. The current account deﬁcit remained high, Dr. Subbarao said. — PTI
U.K. regulator recalls 16 Wockhardt drugs
NEW DELHI: The U.K. drug
Zuari hikes stake in Mangalore Chem
MUMBAI: In an intensify-
Ford recalls diesel variants of EcoSport
NEW DELHI: U.S. auto major Ford, on Thursday, said it was recalling the diesel variants of its newly launched compact SUV EcoSport in India to rectify defects in the instrument used as an aid in starting the engine. “As part of routine checks, we discovered a potential concern with EcoSport diesel variants related to the Glow Plug Module which requires relocating the module. We are contacting customers to take their vehicle to their Ford dealership to have the work carried out,” Ford India said in a statement. The company, however, did not share the number of vehicles it is recalling. — PTI
U.S. jobless claims rise
WASHINGTON: The number of Americans ﬁling new claims for unemployment beneﬁts rose last week, although the level still appeared to point to healing in the nation's job market. Initial claims for state unemployment beneﬁts increased by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The reading was likely clouded by seasonal factors. — Reuters
regulator Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), on Thursday, said it had issued a precautionary recall for 16 medicines made by Wockhardt at its Waluj unit due to manufacturing shortcomings. “This follows manufacturing deﬁciencies identiﬁed by the MHRA at the Wockhardt’s Waluj site in India,” the MHRA said in a statement. The 16 ‘prescription only medicines’ include those used for the treatment of infections, high blood pressure, diabetes, epilepsy, depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, dementia in Alzheimer’s patients and thyroid conditions, it added. The Waluj facility makes injectables and solid dosages.
This follows manufacturing deﬁciencies identiﬁed by the MHRA at the company’s Waluj unit
The MHRA’s Director of Inspection Enforcement and Standards, Gerald Heddell, said: “This is a precautionary recall. People can be reassured that there is no evidence that medicines made by Wockhardt are defective so it’s important people continue to take their medicines as prescribed.” This is not a patient level recall because although the medicines that are affected have not been manufactured to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) stan-
dards, there is no evidence of a patient safety risk from medicines that have been sold in the U.K., the MHRA said. “The deﬁciencies identiﬁed by the MHRA during a routine inspection in March included a low risk of cross-contamination because of poor cleaning practices and defects in building fabric and the ventilation systems at the site,” it added. There was also evidence of forged documents relating to staff training records that had been rewritten, the MHRA said. The U.K. drug regulator said it was working with Wockhardt and other international regulators to resolve these issues. Shares of Wockhardt on Thursday closed at Rs.937.95 on BSE, down 2.40 per cent from its previous close. — PTI
ing two-way battle, Zuari Fertilisers, on Thursday, hiked its stake to nearly 16 per cent in UB group’s Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilisers Ltd. (MCFL), where rival Deepak Fertilisers had picked up over 24 per cent equity. All the three companies compete with each other in the fertilizer business, but huge debt load of Vijay Mallya-led group has led to speculations about MCFL being an apparent takeover target for rivals Zuari Fertilisers and Deepak Fertilisers. Officially, Zuari Fertilisers and Deepak Fertilisers have so far stayed away from disclosing any plans for eventual takeover of MCFL, but have amassed signiﬁcant stakes from the open market. After acquiring 3.5 per
cent stake in MCFL on Wednesday, Zuari Fertilisers on Thursday again bought 30 lakh shares, amounting to 2.52 per cent stake of MCFL for about Rs.20 crore, and hiked its cumulative stake to 15.77 per cent. At the same time, another investor, Reliance Capital, on Thursday sold about 15 lakh shares of MCFL for Rs.10 crore. Saroj Poddar-led Zuari Fertilisers had ﬁrst acquired nearly 10 per cent stake in MCFL for Rs.44.3 crore in April. Besides, Deepak Fertilisers picked up 24.46 per cent equity in MCFL for Rs.179 crore from the open market last week. Any direct or indirect acquisition of shares amounting to 25 per cent or more stake in a listed company triggers a mandatory open offer by the acquirer for public shareholders. — PTI
HPCL to set up petrochemical complex at Barmer
JAIPUR: The Rajasthan Government and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) have signed a joint venture agreement to set up a reﬁnery-cumpetrochemical complex in Barmer district. A joint venture company, HPCL-Rajasthan Reﬁnery Limited, will execute the ambitious project. The agreement was signed here on Thursday in the presence of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Mines and Petroleum Minister Rajendra Pareek, and HPCL Chairman and Managing Director S. Roy Choudhury. State Mines and Petroleum Secretary Sudhansh Pant and HPCL Director (Finance) K. V. Rao signed the pact. The agreement paves the way for establishment of an oil reﬁnery on a government land at Pachpadra in Barmer district at an estimated cost of Rs.37,229 crore
green zone in the radius of the complex, he said.
During the four-year construction period, an income of Rs.47,000 crore has been projected at the reﬁnery, which would increase to Rs.8.78 lakh crore in the operational period. New employment opportunities will be available to 1.39 lakh people, while the direct tax earnings would be Rs.1.05 lakh crore and induced tax earnings Rs.75,000 crore. The development in the area surrounding the reﬁnery would be carried out in a planned manner “for beneﬁting the generations to come” and no illegal sale of purchase of land would be allowed, said Mr. Gehlot. He said he would request the HPCL officers to provide training in skills development to the local youths. The reﬁnery was earlier proposed to be established at Leelala village near Baytu.
Mercedes-Benz offers B-Class Diesel
MUMBAI: Mercedes-Benz India Ltd. on Thursday launched the B-Class 180 CDI, priced at Rs.22.6 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai). It has a 2143-cc engine offering 18.98 km a litre and has luxury features. — Special Correspondent
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot (third from right) with officials at the MoU signing ceremony in Jaipur on Thursday. — PHOTO: ROHIT JAIN PARAS
BGR Energy gets Odisha Power contract
BHYBANESWAR: Odisha Power Generation Corporation has awarded a Rs.1,573-crore contract for balance of plant, including ancillary and peripheral units, to BGR Energy Systems, as part of its expansion project. The order is for OPGC’s 2X660 MW thermal power plant with third and fourth units. The project includes development of a captive coal mine and railway transportation system. — PTI
be a milestone in the State’s development. He said the best technologies would be adopted to the reﬁnery, which would have the capacity of 9 million metric tonnes per annum. Mr. Gehlot said the Capacity equity share of the State Addressing a joint Government and HPCL press conference, Mr. in the joint venture comRoy Choudhury said the pany would be 26 per agreement, coming cent and 74 per cent, rewithin four months after spectively. the signing of a memo“The reﬁnery is going randum of understand- to make a signiﬁcant ading on March 14 this dition to the investmentyear, would turn out to friendly atmosphere in
in the next four years. The reﬁnery will source crude from the oil ﬁelds in western Rajasthan, and also import crude and manufacture various petroleum and petrochemical products.
the State,” he said, adding that it would also provide immense employment opportunities. Mr. Gehlot noted that production of petrochemicals such as polyethylene, benzene, toluene and mixed xylene would help the ancillary industries in Barmer, Jodhpur and the nearby areas with raw material and promote the units in various sectors. New industrial areas would be developed after
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
M&M to stop work for up to 8 days
NEW DELHI: Mahindra & Mahindra, on Thursday, said it would stop production at its automotive plants for up to eight days this month to cut output in the wake of low demand in the market. “The company, as part of aligning its production with sales requirements, would be observing ‘no production days’ at its automotive plants for a period ranging from 1 to 8 days during the remaining period of July, 2013,” Mahindra & Mahindra said in a ﬁling to the BSE. wholly-owned subsidiary Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers Ltd. would also be observing ‘no production days’ for about eight days at its plant situated at Chakan. Apart from the Chakan unit, the company manufactures its automobiles at plants including Nashik and Haridwar. — PTI
July 11 rates in rupees with previous rates in brackets
U.S. economy still needs Fed help: Bernanke
‘Highly accommodative monetary policy is what is necessary’ CLARITY EMERGES
the policies were still necessary. He also said the economy was also being held back by higher taxes and federal spending cuts. “If you put all of that together, you can only conclude that highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what is needed for the U.S. economy,” Mr. Bernanke said. Bernanke’s comments were his latest effort to stress that the Fed would continue to stimulate the economy, even after it began to slow its bond purchases. The Fed planned to keep its investment holdings constant to avoid causing long-term rates to rise too quickly. It also planned to keep short-term rates at record lows. And, Mr. Bernanke has said 6.5 per cent unemployment is a threshold, not a trigger — The Fed might decide to keep its benchmark short-term rate near zero even after unemployment falls that low. Unemployment is now 7.6 per cent.
Bharti to contest DoT demand notice
NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel, on
Equities surge, rupee down marginally
MUMBAI: Equities surged on Thursday as . Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signalled that the U.S. may not rollback the stimulus programme as expected earlier, resulting in shares rising globally and the dollar losing against major currencies. “The markets witnessed a gap up opening on the positive global cues. The international markets closed higher on the news that the U.S. Federal Reserve may continue its stimulus plan for some more time,” said Alex Mathews, Head Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd. The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) shot up by 381.94 points as metals surged by 3 per cent followed by banks by 2.48 per cent, realty 2.44 per cent, capital goods 1.84 per cent, oil & gas 1.80 per cent and PSUs 1.77 per cent.
WASHINGTON: The U.S. economy still needs help from the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policies, Chairman Ben Bernanke said here on Wednesday. Mr. Bernanke told the National Bureau of Economic Research that because unemployment remained high and inﬂation was below the Fed’s target,
On Wednesday, Mr. Bernanke didn’t signal any changes in the Fed’s bondbuying programmes, which have kept long-term interest rates low and encouraged more borrowing and spending. But he defended the recent comments he made after the Fed’s June meeting. Mr. Bernanke had earlier said the Fed would likely slow its bond purchases later this year and end them around mid-2014 if the economy continued to strengthen.—AP
Thursday, said it was ‘shocked and disappointed’ to receive a demand notice of Rs.650 crore from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for alleged violation of roaming norms. The company said the demand for penalty of Rs.650 crore was devoid of any merit, and had no justiﬁcation on facts and in law. “Bharti Airtel is shocked and disappointed to receive a demand notice of Rs.650 crore from the DoT pertaining to the service of subscriber local dialling (SLD) to its subscribers between 2002 and 2005,” the company said in a statement.
Under SLD, calls received by a user outside the home service area are treated as local calls. The telecom department has said the service violates licence conditions. The company said, “The regulator had found this service to be customer-friendly, and in compliance of the licence conditions. The total revenue this SLD service generated for Bharti Airtel was a few lakh of rupees, a fact which is fully known to the DoT.” “We are disappointed that the DoT, which has the bounden duty to act rationally, has thought it ﬁt to issue such a baseless penalty order, leaving us with no choice, but to litigate,” it added.
Tata Motors sets eyes on Kolkata taxi segment
KOLKATA: Tata Motors is
Chennai Bar Silver (1 kg) Retail (1 g) 24 ct gold (10 g) 22 ct gold (1 g) Mumbai Silver Standard gold Delhi Silver Standard gold Sovereign
42,665 45.70 26,895 2,515 41,860 26,640 41,750 27,325 24,200
(40,180) (43.00) (26,435) (2,472) (41,010) (26,210) (40,350) (26,715) (24,000)
Indicative direct rates in rupees a unit except yen at 4 p.m on July 11
Currencies U.S. Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Jap Yen (100 Units) Swiss Franc Singapore Dollar Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swedish Kroner Danish Kroner New Zealand Dollar Hongkong Dollar Malaysian Ringitt Kuwaiti Dinar UAE Dirham Bahraini Dinar Qatari Riyal Saudi Riyal Omani Riyal
TT Buying 59.48 77.71 89.97 59.92 62.59 47.17 54.76 57.13 8.93 10.42 46.82 7.67 18.75 208.13 16.19 157.48 16.37 15.89 154.03
TT Selling 59.80 78.14 90.47 60.25 62.94 47.43 55.08 57.44 8.98 10.48 47.08 7.71 18.89 209.61 16.28 158.91 16.40 15.93 155.79
Source: Indian Bank
planning to tap the taxi segment here, which is dominated by Ambassador cars made by the C. K. Birla-controlled Hindustan Motors Ltd. Tata Motors has launched a version of nonAC, non-power steering, and Euro IV-compliant model of Tata Indigo at a sub-Rs.5 lakh price band. “This product is speciﬁcally for Kolkata, and is priced at Rs.4.97 lakh,” Virat Khullar, Category Head Sedans, told The Hindu. Admitting that Hindustan Motors was a dominant player in this segment, he said that Tata Motors had designed its entire package competitively. “A daily saving of Rs.350 would afford from the higher fuel efficiency (based on a daily run of 180 km),” according to Mr. Khullar. To a question whether the Tata car would be able to compete with Ambassador
whose easy maintenance was said to be its USP, he said that several facilities like an annual maintenance contract, better service downtime, among others, were being offered to make the Indigo the preferred car. Additionally, an attractive exchange offer had also been formulated, under which the exchange price of a car would be considered as the down-payment. Tata Motors passenger vehicles (hatchbacks and sedans) are used as radio taxis and contract carriages in other metros. However, this is the ﬁrst time that sedans are being packaged as black and yellow taxis and pitched as an alternative to the Ambassador which has ruled the market for decades.
Siddhi Vinayak Logistics to launch luxury bus service in India
MUMBAI: Siddhi Vinayak Logistics Ltd (SVLL), a player in the trucking and logistics space, is venturing into ultra luxury intra-city bus service in India to cater to the requirement of corporate executives on the move. Though India has several premier bus operators and some State government undertakings are running luxury Volvo bus services, SVLL’s proposed bus service with a ﬂeet of 120 Scania buses will create a new segment, company officials said. The company will start with western India. Swedish auto maker Scania, which is making an aggressive bid to enter the Indian market, will supply 120 buses in one year through a special arrangement. The buses will be designed by Dilip Chhabria and the service to be named SVLL Connect will commence operation from November.
On the National Stock Exchange (NSE) the 50-share Nifty closed up at 5935.10, clocking a gain of 118.40 points. “The outlook for the Nifty is positive and it is likely to test 5985 and 6000 in the short term. It has support at 5875 and 5833,” Mr. Mathews added. Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were net buyers on Wednesday, who bought shares worth Rs. 75.46 crore as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
The ultra luxury intra-city bus service (left) launched by Siddhi Vinayak Logistics. At right is an inside view of the bus. — PHOTO: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT
Tata Motors reported sales of 9,628 cars in June 2013 compared to 13,595 cars a year ago, and 18,522 units in June 2011, according to its website.
“With a ﬂeet of 5975 trucks, we are a large truck operator. Now we are entering into the premium bus segment as part of our business expansion strategy. We have received encouraging support from our bankers to start this service and we will scale up pan India gradually,” Deepak Kumar Baid, director, SVLL told The Hindu. The interiors will have design and comforts of an aircraft and service will be
Swedish auto maker Scania will supply 120 buses in one year through a special arrangement.
at par with full service airlines, he added . The buses will have a restroom, conference room with Wi-Fi connection and projectors for corporate to have meetings while commuting.
There will also be an inhouse crew who will be servicing meals and beverages onboard the buses. The service will have facility for pick-up and drop for passengers for a fee, Mr Baid added. The bus service will connect Mumbai with Pune, Surat, Ahmedabad and Bangalore to name some destinations. The company will charge substantially high fares for providing the exclusive service.
Meanwhile, the rupee closed weaker on Thursday at 59.67/68 per dollar compared to its previous close of 59.66/67. The rupee rose to a high of 59.32 in the earlier session of the trade. However it climbed down following demand for dollar from importers.
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
Hanif Mohammad undergoes surgery
Sanjeev sets a new mark
Sunny a true legend: Shastri
MUMBAI: Ravi Shastri paid the ultimate tribute to his mentor Sunil Gavaskar. He said that the batting maestro in his 5 ft 5 inches frame was true legend as the latter was inducted into the Legends Club that was founded by the late Raj Singh Dungarpur 10 years ago. Shastri talked about the greatness of Gavaskar as an opening batsman, captain and broadcaster. One of the opening batsmen who did not ﬂinch against the famous West Indies pace pack in the 1970s and 80s, Gavaskar turned 64 on Wednesday (July 10) and the Legends Club, whose president is Madhav Apte, decided to induct him into the club. Gavaskar in his acceptance message e-mailed from London, thanked the club and named the people who played a role in his rise to fame. The much-awaited meeting of the club evoked tremendous response from its members and guests.
MAKING A SPLASH
Shastri acknowledged Gavaskar’s contribution in shaping his career.
“Today is a special evening for a special gentleman. There have been very few who can be said to be living legends and in fact while playing the game. “Sunny played for more than one-and-a-half decades and as he came along into his second decade he was already a legend and was treated and talked as one.
NOTTINGHAM: Pakistan great Hanif Mohammad has had an operation for liver cancer, a family friend said on Wednesday. The 78-year-old underwent an operation at London Bridge hospital on Tuesday that saw his right liver lobe and gall bladder removed. The operation was deemed a success, with surgeon Robert Hutchins saying: “It (the cancer) has been diagnosed at an early stage and it has not spread anywhere else.” Mohammad is now set to spend one week in hospital for observation. — AFP
Prajnesh Gunneswaran loses in pre-quarters
NEW DELHI: The ﬁfth-seeded Prajnesh Gunneswaran lost 2-6, 6-4, 2-6 to Jean-Frederik Brunken of Finland in the prequarterﬁnals of the $10,000 ITF men’s Futures tournament in Hannover, Germany. In a similar tournament in Ilkley, Britain, Ronak Manuja lost 1-6, 1-6 to Daniel Cox of Britain in the ﬁrst round. Manuja was seeded third with Zach Itzstein of Australia, but the duo lost in the pre-quarterﬁnals 3-6, 6-7(5) to Florian Barta of Germany and David Pel of the Netherlands.
HYDERABAD: R. Sanjeev of Karnataka set a new National record clocking 8:51.02 in the Group II boys’ 800m freestyle in the junior National aquatics championship here on Thursday. Sanjeev bettered the previous record of Aaron d’Souza of Karnataka (9:01.41) set in 2006. The results (ﬁnals): Boys: Group I: 1500m freestyle: 1. Mitesh Manoj Kunte (Kar) 16:45:54, 2. Mohammed Yaqooib Saleem (Kar), 3. Raj Bhanvadia (Guj). Group II: 800m freestyle: 1. R. Sanjeev (Kar) 8:51:02, 2. Ishaan Jaffer (Mah), 3. Aryan Makhija (Mah). 200m butterﬂy: Group I: 1. Supriya Mondal (Ben) 2:06:51, NR, 2. Bobby Rana (Dli), 3. Mitesh Manoj Kunte (Kar). Group II: 1. R. Sanjeev (Kar) 2:17:63, 2. Shivaksh Sahu (Chhattisgarh), 3. Vedant Khandeparkar (Mah). 50m breaststroke: Group I: 1. S.P. Likith (Kar) 30:89, 2. Neil Contractor (Guj), 3. Raoul Rajani (Mah). Group II: 1. D. Manav (Kar) 33:09, 2. S. Nithyaanand (TN), 3. Austin Varghese (Chg). 50m freestyle: Group I: 1. Neil Contractor (Guj) 24:80, 2. Viraj Prabhu (Maha), 3. P. Mukundhan (TN).
Something to learn
“I have known him for close to 40 years as player, broadcaster and mentor and there was always something to learn from him in the dressing room and off the ﬁeld. “He is still at it as a broadcaster demonstrating terriﬁc discipline and passion for the game. “It’s taken 10 years for the Legends Club to honour him and he deserves it all,’’ said Shastri.
FOR THE RECORD: Karnataka's R. Sanjeev bettered the 800m freestyle mark set by Statemate Aaron d’Souza in 2006.
— PHOTO: MOHAMMED YOUSUF
Group II: 1. Saumya Vora (Mah) 26:32, 2. Jerry d’Mello (Goa), 3. Siddarth Sankhe (Mah) & S. Abhishek (TN). Girls: 400m freestyle: Group I: 1. Monique Gandhi (Mah) 4:30:71, 2. Aakanksha Vora (Mah), 3. V. Malavika (Kar).
Group II: 1. P.M. Abishiktha (TN) 4:45:15, 2. Neha Prasad (Mah), 3. Nikita Bhaiya (TN). 200m butterﬂy: Group I: 1. V.K.R. Meenakshi (TN) 2:25:16, 2. Rujuta Bhat (Mah), 3. M. Simran Deepak (Kar). Group II: 1. K. Damini Gowda (Kar)
2:28:51, 2. Trisha Karkhanis (Maha), 3. S.V. Nikitha (Kar). 50m breaststroke: Group I: 1. A.V. Jayaveena (TN) 34:88, 2. Harleen Kaur (Pun), 3. Chahat Arora (Chg). Group II: 1. Sara Joshi (Chg) 37:40, 2.Yashna Vummidi (TN), 3. Jaya
Shekhawat (Raj), 3. Aditi Nazre (Mah). 50m freestyle: Group I: 1. Shivani Kataria (Har) 27:30, 2. Avantika Chavan (Mah), 3. Rhea Castelino (AP). Group II: 1. Maana Patel (Guj) 28:28, 2. Gitanjali Pandey (Guj), 3. A. Kaavyashri (TN) .
Dhariwal 2000 … and counting
BANGALORE: The 57-year-old Jagjit Singh Dhariwal has reached a milestone. ‘Jaggi’ as he is known in the racing circles with 2000 winners has joined an elite band of trainers recently. He will be felicitated by Bangalore Turf Club on Sunday (July 14). “The Maharaja of Cooch Behar introduced me to Mr. Bill Rickaby and soon landed at Newmarket and did an 18month apprenticeship under trainer Harvey Leader,” Dhariwal said. Advised by his friends, Jaggi moved to Madras and did his jockey apprenticeship and saddled 40 winners in quick time. “I have ridden more than hundred winners. Maintaining a riding weight was the main problem at that time and I quit riding,” he said.
Finding good goalkeepers a big challenge
NEW DELHI: There is a pressing need to ﬁnd suitable back-up for the national side’s top goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh. In the recently-concluded Hockey World League in Rotterdam, the country’s second goalkeeper P.T. Rao, 34, played for only six minutes in the ﬁrst (against Ireland) match, even as India ﬁnished sixth among eight teams. Michael Nobbs had no choice but to ﬁeld his best goalkeeper as the journey got progressively tougher. The outgoing coach recognises this area of concern. “Yes, we do not have a backup for Sreejesh. P.T. Rao is stop-gap, and has done well. But age is against him, and we need to ﬁnd some new goalkeepers,” says Nobbs. With the Asia Cup around the corner and many important competitions such as the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and the World Cup coming up next year, who
DDA FA holds Chaak FA
NEW DELHI: DDA Football Academy drew 1-1 with Chaak Football Academy in a group I match of the DSA interacademy tournament for Delhi United Cup.
The results: DDA Football Academy 1 (Ayush Adhikari) drew with Chaak Football Academy 1 (Sahaj Chandel).
Saniya Sheikh shoots 61
NEW DELHI: Saniya Sheikh shot 61 following rounds of 21, 22, 18 and ﬁnished 39th in a ﬁeld of 47 in the shooting World Cup in Granada, Spain. The reigning National champion Arti Singh shot two points less than Saniya, and placed 42nd. In men’s skeet, Arozepal Sandhu and Smit Singh had shot 94 out of 100 after four rounds, while Parampal Singh Guron had made 91.
The results: Women’s skeet: 1. Chiara Cainero (Ita) 14 (13)4 (73); 2. Katiuscia Spada (Ita) 13 (15) 73; 3. Sutiya Jiewchaloemmit (Tha) 14 (13)3 (71); 4. Simona Scocchetti (Ita) 11 (12) 74 WR; 39. Saniya Sheikh 61; 42. Arti Singh 59.
Demichelis joins Atletico
will share Sreejesh’s workload? “I am worried. God forbid, Sreejesh gets injured. What will happen then?” asks Olympian goalkeeper A.B. Subbaiah. “I am not against P.T. Rao. But he is 34. We need to ﬁnd a pool of 10 talented goalkeepers, and train them properly.” Nobbs cautions that time is running out. “There is not enough time to build them (promising youngsters) up and give them enough experience. “It takes 12 to 18 months… to build them up physically and train them with modern goalkeeping training and techniques, then give them 20-30 internationals before they are of real value to the programme,” he says. Edgar Mascarenhas, who guarded the Indian goal in the mid-1990s, points out the ﬂaw in the handling of affairs. “I have been noticing the pattern for some years, and only two goalkeepers are be-
Goalkeepers can be groomed through solid training: Edgar Mascarenhas
ing called for a camp. There is hardly any competition. So complacency is bound to creep in.” Subbaiah agrees. “During our days, there used to be good competition… Ashish Balal, Aloysius Edward and Edgar Mascarenhas and I were ﬁghting for places in the National team. So, everybody tried to give his best,” he recalls. Mascarenhas, who is initiating an effort to train talented ’keepers in Mumbai, points out that Sreejesh was the only Indian ’keeper who was seen in action in the Hockey India League. “Rest were all foreigners. Each one of them showed his class, and was a match-winner,” Mascarenhas says. Good goalkeepers can be
groomed through solid training, Mascarenhas says. “During my time, we had the opportunity to train under Cedric D’Souza. He had brought (1988 Olympics gold medallist) Ian Taylor from Britain, and we beneﬁtted by following his regimen. Taylor taught us how to kick the ball without giving rebounds,” he says. Nobbs also speaks of the importance of nurturing talent. “I think there are many (good goalkeepers) around. We just need to get them into academies that can do the basic work so that when they hit the national programme, they, at least, have a chance, and then, be able to compete against the players already there.” Hockey India, seems to have realised the urgency of the matter; it has included seven goalkeepers among the 48 probables in the camp for the Asia Cup.
India to host HWL ﬁnals
CHENNAI: India will host the Hockey World League (HWL) ﬁnals in Delhi from January 10 to 18 next year. Apart from the host, the competition will feature Australia, Argentina, Belgium, England, Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand. These teams qualiﬁed from Rotterdam and Johor. Argentina is the venue for the women’s ﬁnals from November 30 to December 8 at Tucuman.
In 1977 he had a brief stint as an assistant trainer with Mr. D.M. Thompson which changed his career for good. Entrusted with a few horses Jaggi soon got going. But when the racing closed down in Madras he shifted to
Hyderabad. “I got the patronage of the late S. Rangarajan, who supported me in a big way and trained his horses for nearly two decades and won many Classics with Bonzer, Regal Star, Noble Quest and Rebecca and then became a private trainer to Mr. Vijay Mallya’s horses, with whom I won maximum Classics with the likes of Storm Again, Arabian Prince, Siachen and Saddle Up,” Dhariwal said. A professional to the core, Dhariwal spent most of his time as trainer in Hyderabad. He produced good results with every outing, be it Derby, the Turf Invitation Cup or the Sprinters Cup. Describing Chaitanya Chakram as one of the greatest horses he has trained, Dhariwal said: “S. Pathy, Narasimha Reddy and partners were the lucky owners of Chaitanya Chakram and Chaitanya Ratham. Chaitanya Chakram, who won the Indian Derby, leading from start-toﬁnish over the 2,400m trip is perhaps the only horse in the history of Indian Derby to have recorded some unforgettable victories.”
Financial aid for Shanti
MADRID: Veteran Argentine defender Martin Demichelis has signed a two-year contract with Atletico Madrid, the Spanish Cup winner said on Thursday. Demichelis, 32, was a free agent after ﬁnishing a fairly successful two-and-a-half-year stint with Malaga. He is Atletico’s third summer signing, after strikers David Villa from Barcelona and Leo Baptistao from Rayo Vallecano. — DPA
NEW DELHI: Union Sports Minister Jitendra Singh has approved a ﬁnancial assistance of Rs. 60,500 from the National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons to athlete Santhi Soundarajan, who had been stripped of her 2006 Asian Games silver medal after failing a gender test. “Recently reports have appeared in a section of the media that she is living in indigent circumstances and was working as a daily wager at a brick kiln in Tamil Nadu. Santhi has applied for pursuing a regular National Institute of Sports (NIS) diploma in coaching at the Bengaluru centre of the Sports Authority of India (SAI),” said a Sports Ministry release on Thursday. “Taking into consideration Santhi’s ﬁnancial condition, the (ﬁnancial) assistance has
JK to promote young drivers
NEW DELHI: Underscoring the importance of nurturing new talent, JK Tyre has rechristened its JK Racing Asia Series (JKRAS) as Formula BMW and decided to give opportunities to 12 Indian youngsters this year. Addressing the media here on Thursday, Sanjay Sharma, the head of JK Tyre’s motorsport division, said the company changed the format as JKRAS, which conducted some of its races in Europe last year, did not help in grooming home talent. “We were lucky to make it a support race in Formula One and GT series. But we felt our mission was not fulﬁlled as it was not beneﬁting Indian drivers,” said Sharma. This year all the races will be held in India and JK Tyre has tied up with Eurointernational to run the Formula BMW series. “They are the best in the business and have sent 28 of their engineers to us. The least-experienced guy has done 300 races,” said Sanjay. The 12 Indian drivers, who are National karting champions, are below 20 years of age. “They will race free of cost,” said Sharma. The races will be held at Kari Motorspeedway, Coimbatore (July 19-21), Madras Motor Race Track, Chennai (August 9-11) and Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida (Sept. 27-29 and Nov. 29 to December 1). “One race (September 6-8) is yet to be ﬁnalised as we are planning for a street race in Srinagar. We have the Government support, but are yet to get the safety clearance. “Safety is foremost in a street race. God willing, we can create a Monte Carlo in Srinagar,” said Sharma. The JK Tyre racing season will also include its annual competitions, such as the Volkswagen Polo-R Cup, featuring 13 new drivers, and the Formula LGB. — Principal Correspondent
Buy Thiago or no one, says Guardiola
RIVA DEL GARDA (ITALY): Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola ﬁnally shed some light on his resignation at Barcelona on Thursday — and conﬁrmed he hoped to raid his old club for midﬁelder Thiago Alcantara. Guardiola, 42, quit as head coach at Barca after winning 14 titles during his four-year reign at the Camp Nou between 2008 and 2012. “After four years the desire was gone in Barcelona,” Guardiola said at Bayern’s training camp in northern Italy. “The same players, the same opponents, the same journalists, the same games.
Wild cards for four Indians
NEW DELHI: Namita Bal, Arushi Bhasin, Nishtha Dudeja and Vanya Dangwal have been given wild cards for the $10,000 ITF women’s tennis tournament to be played at the DLTA Complex here from Monday. The cream of Indian women’s tennis, spearheaded by Ankita Raina, is expected to be seen in action in the tournament. Rishika Sunkara, Prerna Bhambri, Nidhi Chilumula, Shweta Rana, Natasha Palha, Eetee Maheta, Sharmada Balu, Sowjanya Bavisetti, Shivika Burman and Simran Kaur Sethi will be some of the other prominent players. Naomi Totka of Hungary and the talented Ching-Wen Hsu of Chinese Taipei are expected to provide the foreign challenge.
Now everything is new. “It’s good for my experience. My family will come to Munich soon, it’s a good education and therefore I’m grateful.” He also conﬁrmed the European champion’s interest in Alcantara. Spanish media had already linked the 22-year-old with a move to Bayern and Guardiola admitted he has already asked the Bavarian giant to sign the midﬁelder. “Yes, I want Thiago Alcantara, I have asked (Bayern to get him),” he said. “I know him very, very well. He’s a great player and can cover three, four, ﬁve
positions. “I have talked to (chairman Karl-Heinz) Rummenigge and (director of sport Matthias) Sammer, we will have to wait and see. “Thiago is the only player I want, it will be him or no one. “We have many players, but we need the special qualities Thiago Alcantara brings.” Both Manchester United and Real Madrid have been linked to Alcantara, who has a market value of around €20 million and captained Spain Under-21 to the European title and was voted player of the tournament. Alcantara, who has a contract at Barcelona until June
2015, scored a ﬁrst-half hattrick as Spain beat Italy 4-2 in the European Under-21 Championships in Jerusalem last month. Bayern already has several midﬁeld stars with Germany’s Mario Goetze signed from Borussia Dortmund, plus Holland’s Arjen Robben, France’s Franck Ribery, Thomas Mueller, Toni Kroos and Swiss Xherdan Shaqiri vying for places. “I don’t think adding another midﬁelder will be a problem for us,” said Guardiola. “I spoke to the club about my concept and told them why I want Thiago Alcantara.” — AFP
Santhi Soundarajan. — FILE PHOTO
been sanctioned for her to meet the expenditure towards fees, lodging and board and sports kit,” added the release.
Wilfried Bony now at Swansea
LONDON: Ivory Coast international Wilfried Bony has signed for Swansea City in a club record deal, the English Premier League side said on Thursday. The Swans paid £12 million (€13.9m) to secure the Vitesse Arnhem striker’s services, beating the £5.5m for Spanish winger Pablo Hernandez last year. Bony signed a four-year contract at the Welsh club’s pre-season training camp in The Netherlands. “This move has been talked about for quite some time, so I am delighted it is all completed,” said Bony, who is nicknamed “Daddy Cool” in The Netherlands. “Now, it is important that I focus my mind on the challenge ahead because I hope to make the Swansea fans very happy.” Bony, capped 20 times for his country, described the transfer as “the perfect move”, but said he chose Swansea ahead of a number of foreign clubs because of its style of play, manager Michael Laudrup and the lure of the Premier League.
Azharuddin is DBA President
NEW DELHI: In a move that is sure to surprise many, Mohammad Azharuddin has been unanimously elected President of the Delhi Badminton Association. The former India cricket captain takes over the reigns from Vinod Dhawan who resigned in April following the decision of the Badminton Association of India to recognise Delhi Capital Badminton Association (DCBA). It is learnt that Azharuddin was made member of the DBA in April and was duly elected as its head. On Wednesday, the DBA sent a letter to the BAI and its
Ricky Ponting bowed out in style as the former Australia captain hit 169 not out for Surrey in his ﬁnal ﬁrst-class innings against Nottinghamshire on Thursday.
affiliated units informing all of the change at its helm. Like Azharuddin, another Member of Parliament, K.D. Singh also became part of the DBA as Chairman. Meanwhile, the Sports Ministry has asked for a detailed explanation from the BAI on the “issue of grant of recognition to the DCBA without issuing notice or cancelling recognition of DBA.” It may be recalled that Azharuddin had intended to contest for the president post of the BAI in June 2010 but backed off at the last minute and paved the way for the unanimous re-election of V.K. Verma.
CRICKET: The Ashes, ﬁrst Test, STAR Cricket & STAR Cricket HD, 3.30 p.m. CYCLING: Tour de France, TEN Action & TEN HD, 7 p.m.
It is the Tour de France. Anything can happen. It wasn’t nice at the time. The majority of fans are brilliant
— MARK CAVENDISH AFTER THE URINE-THROWING INCIDENT
THE HINDU I NOIDA/DELHI, FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
Is signing English players a priority? It is important but not a priority
— MAN CITY MANAGER MANUEL PELLEGRINI
NOTTINGHAM: Wednesday’s opening day of the 2013 Ashes at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge was dominated by bowlers on both sides as the Australia and England attacks shared 14 wickets between them. It was the most on the opening day of an England-Australia series since 17 wickets fell at Lord’s in 2005 and Wednesday’s tally stood equal seventh in the corresponding all-time list covering 136 years of Anglo-Australian cricket, with ﬁve of those instances at Trent Bridge. — AFP
Debutant Agar bats his way into the record books
NOTTINGHAM: Teenage debutant Ashton Agar fell agonisingly short of becoming the ﬁrst Test No. 11 to score a century as he frustrated England with a record-breaking 98 on the second day of the Ashes opener at Trent Bridge on Thursday. It seemed England would have a commanding ﬁrst innings lead as Australia collapsed to 117 for nine in reply to the Ashes-holder’s ﬁrst innings total of 215. Together with fellow left-hander Phil Hughes (81 n.o.), Agar shared a Test record 10th-wicket partnership of 163 to take Australia to 280. That topped the previous last wicket record stand of 151 held jointly by Brian Hastings and Richard Collinge for New Zealand against Pakistan at Auckland in 1972-73, and Azhar Mahmood and Mushtaq Ahmed for Pakistan against South Africa at Rawalpindi in 1997-98.
Anjana shocks Rucha
LUCKNOW: Kerala’s Anjana Krishna shocked defending champion Rucha Pujari to join 12 other leaders with two points after the girls’ second round of the junior National chess championship here on Thursday. In the open section, 25 players share the lead after the leading seeds won. The results (second round): Open: Chakravarthi Reddy (AP, 1) lost to S.L. Narayanan (Ker, 2); Prasanna Rao (Mah, 2) bt Darpan Inani (Guj, 1); Vasantha Ruba Varman (TN, 1) lost to Sayantan Das (Ben, 2); Aravindh Chihambaram (TN, 2) bt Rakesh Kumar Nayak (Odi, 1); Antonio Viani D’cunha (Kar, 2) bt Sayan Bose (Ben, 1); K. G. Chaithanyaa (TN, 1) lost to P. Lokesh (TN, 2); Pratik
Patil (Mah, 1.5) drew with Arjun Satheesh (Ker, 1.5); Roshan Rangarajan (Mah, 1) lost to Saumil Padhya (Mah, 2); Prince Bajaj (Del, 2) bt R. Ganesh (TN, 1); Harshal Shahi (Del, 1) lost to Praneeth Surya (AP, 2). Girls: Pratyusha Bodda (AP, 2) bt Shristi Shetty (Kar, 1); Anjana Krishna (Ker, 2) bt Rucha Pujari (Mah, 1); J. Saranya (TN, 2) bt Meenu Priya (TN, 1); Shweta Gole (Mah, 1.5) drew with P. V. Nandhidhaa (TN, 1.5); Michelle Catherina (TN, 2) bt Priya V. (AP, 1); Supriya Joshi (Mah, 1) lost to Ivana Furtado (Goa, 2); M. Mahalakshmi (TN, 2) bt M. Sandya (TN, 1); Akshya Nandakumar (TN, 1) lost to G. K. Monnisha (TN, 2); G. Lasya (AP, 2) bt N. Hema Priya (TN, 1); Smaraki Mohanty (Ori, 1.5) drew with Srija Seshadri (TN, 1.5).
Australia bans broomstick putters
Gupta, Barua share lead
VIJAYAWADA: Indian GMs Abhijeet Gupta (2583) and Dibyendu Barua (2431) lead the pack with 6.5 points each after the seventh round in the Commonwealth chess championship in progress at Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Defending champion M.R. Lalith Babu (2571) is in joint second with six points with six others including Indian Woman Grandmaster Gomes Mary Ann (2408).
SYDNEY: The Professional Golfers Association of Australia on Thursday said it would ban the use of broomstick putters at its sanctioned tournaments from 2016 to move in line with other international tours. The new rule would ban players from anchoring a club directly, or by use of an anchor point, against any part of the body, effectively banning belly and chest putting. — AFP
Divij & Karlovic advance
NEW DELHI: Divij Sharan and Ivo Karlovic of Croatia saved ﬁve match points before beating Ilya Marchenko and Denys Molchanov 4-6, 7-6(1), 11-9 in the doubles pre-quarterﬁnals of the Hall of Fame tennis championships in Newport, on Wednesday. Divij and Karlovic will next face Adil Shamasdin of Canada and JohnPatrick Smith of Australia who knocked out third-seeded James Blake and Rajeev Ram of the US 6-4, 6-7(3), 10-6. In singles, Prakash Amritraj was outplayed 6-2, 6-1 by fourth seed Lleyton Hewitt in the prequarterﬁnals. However in doubles, Amritraj and Sam Querrey beat Ruben Bemelmans and Michal Przysiezny 4-6, 6-3, 10-5.
Left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc then followed up by taking two wickets off successive balls to leave England ﬂoundering at 11 for two — Joe Root caught down the leg-side by ’keeper Brad Haddin and Jonathan Trott given out lbw after a referral. Australia reviewed the decision and, with Hotspot not detecting an edge, third umpire Marais Erasmus instructed the decision to be reversed. But England captain Alastair Cook (37 batting) and Kevin Pietersen (35 batting) rebuilt the innings with an unbroken stand of 69 that left the host 80 for two at stumps — a lead of 15. Australia resumed on 75 for four, a deﬁcit of 140, after an overcast ﬁrst day where seamer Peter Siddle rocked England with ﬁve for 50. But the day saw sunshine and blue skies which promised better batting conditions for Steven Smith, 38 not out overnight, and Hughes. James Anderson, who had gone past England fast bowling great Fred Trueman’s record of 307 Test wickets on Wednesday, soon made the breakthrough. Smith, driving loosely at Anderson, gaining reverse-swing, was caught behind by ’keeper Matt Prior for 53. This was the start of an Australian collapse that saw ﬁve wickets lost for just nine runs. The 19-year-old Agar did survive a desperately close stumping appeal from Prior off spinner Graeme Swann on six, with Australia then on 131 for nine, as third umpire Erasmus eventually ruled in his favour.
In the seventh round Gupta drew with Ukraine’s Fedorchuk Sergey (2667) while Baura defeated England’s Conquest Stuart. M.R. Lalith Babu, who lost to Gupta in the sixth round, scored a victory over South African International Master Kobese Watu (2343). This 19th edition of the Commonwealth chess championship will conclude on July 14.
DAZZLER: Ashton Agar batted well along with Phil Hughes to rescue Australia. — PHOTO: GARETH COPLEY/GETTY IMAGES
Agar then cashed in with shots reminiscent of India’s Yuvraj Singh, including two magniﬁcent straight sixes off Swann. But, in sight of a century, Agar pulled Stuart Broad to Swann at deep midwicket to end a two-and-a-quarter hour innings which included 12 fours and two sixes. Anderson starred for England with ﬁve for 85, his 14th haul of ﬁve or more wickets in an innings in 83 Tests. — AFP
England — 1st innings: 215. Australia — 1st innings: S. Watson c Root b Finn 13, C. Rogers lbw b Anderson 16, E. Cowan c Swann b Finn 0, M. Clarke b Anderson 0, S. Smith c Prior b Anderson 53, P. Hughes (not out) 81, B. Haddin b Swann 1, P. Siddle c Prior b Anderson 1, M. Starc c Prior b Anderson 0, J. Pattinson lbw b Swann 2, A. Agar c Swann b Broad 98; Extras (lb-15): 15; Total (in 64.5 overs): 280. Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-19, 3-22, 4-53, 5-108, 6-113, 7-114, 8-114, 9-117. England bowling: Anderson 24-2-85-5, Finn 15-0-80-2, Swann 19-4-60-2, Broad 6.5-0-40-1. England — 2nd innings: A. Cook (batting) 37, J. Root c Haddin b Starc 5, J. Trott lbw b Starc 0, K. Pietersen (batting) 35; Extras (b-1, nb-2): 3; Total (for two wkts. in 43 overs): 80. Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-11. Australia bowling: Pattinson 9-3-27-0, Starc 13-4-15-2, Agar 9-3-29-0, Siddle 9-4-8-0, Watson 3-3-0-0.
Rooney ruled out for a month
A mind game and a puzzle that you solve with reasoning and logic. Fill in the grid with digits in such a manner that every row, every column and every 3x3 box accommodates the digits 1 to 9, without repeating any. The solution to yesterday’s puzzle is at right.
India restricts Sri Lanka to 201
BANGKOK: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will be out of action for a month after suffering a hamstring injury on the club’s tour of Asia, the English Premier League champion announced on Thursday. “Wayne Rooney to ﬂy home from #mutour after sustaining a hamstring,” the club said on Twitter. “It is anticipated that Rooney will be unavailable for selection for a month.”
PORT-OF-SPAIN: Sri Lanka lost its last eight wickets for 30 runs to be dismissed for 201 off 48.5 overs in the ﬁnal of the tri-series at Queen’s Park Oval on Thursday. A 122-run third-wicket partnership between Kumar Sangakkara (71) and Lahiru Thirimanne (46) had placed the Sri Lankans in an excellent position at 171 for two in the 38th over to launch a concerted assault in the ﬁnal stages of the innings. However, a succession of injudicious shots, coupled with the failure to appreciate the requirements of the situation, saw batsman after batsman gifting his wicket away while the Indians kept their cool. M.S. Dhoni marshalled his forces superbly on returning to the side while effecting three stumpings and playing his part in strangling the Lankans when they seemed to be racing towards a formidable total. Left-arm spinner Ravin-
of 10 overs, taking the crucial wickets of Sangakkara and Kusal Perera. Bhuvneshwar Kumar made the early strikes for India with the wickets of openers Upul Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardena falling for 22 in his 400th ODI. — AFP
Sri Lanka: U. Tharanga c Dhoni b Bhuvneshwar 11, M. Jayawardena c Ashwin b Bhuvneshwar 22, K. Sangakkara c Vinay b Ashwin 71, L. Thirimanne c Bhuvneshwar b Ishant 46, A. Mathews c Vinay b Ishant 10, K. Perera st. Dhoni b Ashwin 2, D. Chandimal c Ashwin b Jadeja 5, R. Herath st. Dhoni b Jadeja 5, S. Eranga (not out) 5, L. Malinga c Bhuvneshwar b Jadeja 0, S. Lakmal st. Dhoni b Jadeja 1; Extras (b-4, lb-6, w-13): 23; Total (in 48.5 overs): 201. Fall of wickets: 1-27, 2-49, 3171, 4-174, 5-176, 6-183, 7-193, 8-196, 9-196. India bowling: Bhuvneshwar 84-24-2, Vinay 6-1-15-0, Ishant 8-145-2, Kohli 3-0-17-0, Raina 6-0-25-0, Ashwin 10-0-42-2, Jadeja 7.5-1-23-4.
EYE ON THE BALL: Sangakkara played an assured knock after Bhuvneshwar's early strikes. — PHOTO: AFP
Vishnu Vardhan in doubles semiﬁnals
NEW DELHI: Vishnu Vardhan and Hiroki Kondo of Japan beat Yu Chang and Zhe Li of China 6-1, 6-2 to enter the doubles semiﬁnals of the $75,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Beijing on Thursday. In singles, Vishnu lost 6-3, 6-2 to ﬁfth-seeded Di Wu of China in the pre-quarterﬁnals, after having beaten Artem Sitak of New Zealand 6-3, 6-2 earlier in the day.
dra Jadeja beneﬁted most, claiming four of the last ﬁve wickets for just 23 runs. He, together with the other specialist spinner R. Ashwin, were brought on only after the three frontline seamers and two part-timers — Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina — were given an opportunity to make the most of a pitch on which free scoring was challenging, al-
though far from impossible. It was typical of the conﬁdent unorthodoxy of Dhoni, back at the helm after recovering from a hamstring injury that had appeared to rule him out of the rest of the tournament following the opening defeat to the West Indies in Jamaica. Ashwin was the only bowler, among the seven used, who completed his full quota
Warne to be inducted into Hall of Fame
Another stage win for Kittel
TOURS: Germany's Marcel Kittel of Argos claimed his third stage win of the 100th Tour de France when he beat Britain's Mark Cavendish to victory in the 12th stage on Thursday. Briton Chris Froome of Team Sky ﬁnished the stage among the leaders to protect his 3min 25sec lead over Spain's Alejandro Valverde of Movistar. The victory was Kittel's third win of the race after the opening stage and stage 10, when sprint rival Cavendish came third having caused a crash which brought down Kittel's Argos teammate
Tom Veelers. Kittel had one less opponent to deal with for the bunch gallop to the ﬁnish line after compatriot Andre Greipel (Lotto) was one of several riders brought down in a crash inside the closing 4km.
But when it came to the crunch, the German, racing his second Tour having crashed out winless on his debut last year, showed his previous wins were no ﬂuke. Cavendish has won only one stage so far on this edition, taking his career tally to 24. — AFP
DUBAI: Shane Warne will be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on July 19 during the tea interval of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s. Warne becomes the 69th male member of the Hall of Fame, and joins fellow 2012-13 inductees Brian Lara, England’s Enid Bakewell and Glenn McGrath in being recognised by the ICC. — PTI
GETTING HOME: Marcel Kittel pulls up ahead of Mark Cavendish. — PHOTO: AP
FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
True to the core
CINEMA As romance returns to hinterland with sacriﬁce as the running leitmotif, Bollywood is once again looking for enduring love.
ANUJ KUMAR t is raining romance at the box office. The cinegoers who gave a cold shoulder to Pankaj Kapur’s “Mausam” are now embracing “Ranjhaanaa”. People who made fun of symbols in Kapur’s ﬁlm are being swayed by the plastic leaf painted by the lover in Vikram Motwane’s ﬁlm “Lootera” and sacriﬁce of a loser in “Aashiqui-2”. Suddenly, Hindi cinema has come out of Barista outlets and is reaching out to the ghats of Benaras — in search of lasting love. In fact, the return of old world romance with writers ﬁnding tragedy as new talisman is the big news from Bollywood in the half yearly review of the industry. Even the glossy and upmarket “Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani”, the only blockbuster of the season, is not about breaking the shackles but about returning home. After “Ranjhaana”, soon we will return to Benaras with Manish Tiwary’s “Issaq”, a reworking of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” on the banks of the Ganga. The magnitude of the wave can be gauged from the fact that Yash Raj Films, the big daddy of rom-com movement, is now advocating “Shuddh Desi Romance”. Set in Jaipur, the ﬁlm’s trailer was recently launched at the city’s Raj Mandir theatre with “Ek Chidiya Anek Chidiya” playing in the background. Mahesh Bhatt whose “Aashiqui-2” made almost 100 crores at the box office says what people look for in ﬁlms is something they don’t have. “That’s why I call the director a fairer God.
Anjana Rajan speaks to well-known Kathak dancer Shila Mehta on her approach to extending the boundaries of the form.
What they are missing today is enduring love. All those notions of moving on and individualism have not been able to provide something tangible. So they rooted for a boy who dies so that his beloved’s career could soar. Those who called him a loser should know that the girl herself called him a coward in the ﬁlm but she didn’t want to dump him. This devotion is part of our cultural heritage, our mythology. We moved out of it but it is time to return to the roots,” says Bhatt, adding that now his banner is moving away from erotic thrillers to cultivate purer emotions. Tiwary says rom-coms are for those who are cynical about love. “It is a shortcut to entertainment. I wanted to play with truer emotions of love and hatred and Benaras provides the right canvas for the Bard’s drama.” It is being said that the cinema coming out of Bollywood has begun to show some variety because it is giving space to people who have experienced the reality; they want to narrate it on screen. “It is not that Bollywood which has given us space. We have stomped in like an elephant,” avers Tiwary, whose parents come from Patna and Benaras. Ajay Brahmatmaj, seasoned ﬁlm analyst who writes for a mainstream Hindi paper, says the Hindi media was annoyed with Bollywood for representing the region only as a hotbed of crime where women are only incidental to generate violence. “Films like ‘Ranjhaanaa’ and ‘Lootera’ have
While Tabashmi Paul Majumdar’s ﬁrst Kathak recital in Delhi was impressive, aspects beyond dance technique need to be worked on to improve the overall performance, says Leela Venkataraman. Page 2
Scenographer and designer Rajeev Sethi’s upcoming pubic art project at the new terminal of Mumbai Airport seeks to interpret India at different levels. Shailaja Tripathi has the details. Page 3
OF MELANCHOLY AND MELODY (Clockwise from top left) Stills from “Issaq”, “Ranjhaanaa”, “Aashiqui-2” and “Lootera”.
tried to correct that perception and with Yash Raj banner also joining the fray it is the victory of the Hindi heartland. I agree, you can’t take violence completely out of the Hindi belt but the region is known for its epic love stories as well.” As for the charge of the ﬁlm glorifying stalking, Brahmatmaj says once upon a time when we failed to understand NRI romance, a section of critics in English media told us to understand the milieu where the ﬁlm is set. Now, it is their turn to brush up their understanding of a region where girl and boy are not allowed to meet casually at a coffee joint. Holding hands is still a taboo there. In a small town you have to pursue a girl on a cycle if you have to reach her,” adds Brahmatmaj. Himanshu Sharma, who wrote “Ranjhaanaa”, says the ﬁlm doesn’t justify stalking because the boy ultimately doesn’t get anything out of it. “It is not that the boy gets the girl and they lived happily ever after.” The self effacing Vikramaditya Motwane says these are early days to see a trend here. “I made the ﬁlm because I felt the audience is ready to accept different kind of content. I was inspired by a short story of O Henry and felt that it could only work in a period setting where the separation is easier to show and justify.” Sharma agrees that the biggest challenge in writing romance these days is to create the sense of separation and longing. “Mobiles and Internet have made it virtually impossible to keep two people separate but the signiﬁcant change is that now people want the story to belong somewhere. So you can bring in the local ingredients. It makes the writer relevant.” If you leave aside “Aashiqui-2”, the detailing has been painstaking. If Sharma wrote an elaborate Holi sequence to bring out the colours of Benaras, Motwane not only banned the use of mobiles on the sets but also admonished Ranveer Singh and Vikrant Massey for using perfumes. “He said archaeologists are not supposed to wear perfumes at work,” says Massey, whose performance as the Dev Anand loving friend of Singh is being appreciated. “The only person in the cast and crew who has lived the era was Bengali veteran actor Barun Chanda and he told us about the days when the colonial masters had left and Zamindari system was on its way out.” Motwane says he employed the technique that suits the era but didn’t overdo it. “In the ﬁrst half we largely used trolleys while in the second we had many shots captured through jimmy jibs and hand held camera.” With these ﬁlms, melody is also back in business. Melody never went out of business but romantic storylines are providing composers an opportunity to once again string together melodies. “Aashiqui-2 owes its success largely to its songs.” Bhatt agrees that the music articulated the core emotions of the ﬁlm. But if you think it is all about art you are mistaken. “It is pure business,” claims Brahmatmaj. “The numbers are coming from the North. Television realised it ﬁrst and now it is the turn of cinema to follow suit.”
Blast from the past
Suresh Kohli looks back at the 1971 ﬂick “Sharmilee” where Rakhee trots through two roles with élan. Page 4
Be a sport!
CINEMA The Flying Sikh has ﬁnally got a life on celluloid but there are many more sportspersons whose life can generate more drama than a Bollywood potboiler.
Revenge gets messy
n this psychological thriller, Emily Thorne is back to Hamptons for the ultimate revenge that might just leave viewers aghast. Revenge stars Golden Globe nominee, Madeline Stowe as Victoria Grayson — the matriarch of the Grayson family and the
Hamptons and Conrad Grayson, Victoria’s spouse and CEO of Grayson Global. As a summer to remember begins in the Hamptons, it soon becomes clear that the beguiling young philanthropist Emily has a dark past. (Revenge goes comes from Monday to Friday at 9 p.m. on Star World)
hat an inspiring ﬁlm has been made about the extraordinary trials, tribulations, triumphs and losses of the legendary athlete Milkha Singh comes as no surprise. The heart wrenching struggle of India’s greatest athlete from the ashes of partition to pinnacles of glory was always worth a biopic but it is incomprehensible as to why it took ﬁlmmakers so long to realise that the Flying Sikh’s heroism was worthy of big screen especially as the legendary athlete was and still is the only Indian to break an athletics world record and yet lose an Olympic medal by micro-seconds! While Milkha Singh’s poignant biography would have made for an outstanding script in any country, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” and its forerunner “Paan Singh Tomar” certainly compel reﬂection about other sports stalwarts who accomplished similar goals toiling in difficult circumstances and whose stories could be worth depiction on celluloid. In a nation where systems and institutions are said to work in tandem to destroy ‘sporting spirit’, every achiever is worth saluting but some are certainly exemplary models of indomitable courage, resilience and hard work despite meagre opportunities and facilities. In this regard, one of the ﬁrst names to come to mind is of the legendary Dhyan Chand who rose from poverty to become the greatest hockey player ever. He also had the guts to refuse Adolf Hitler’s patronage when the dictator’s name made nations shiver! Enactment of the 1936 Berlin encounter between the Fuhrer and the Indian soldier or his refusal to go along with the British rulers after independence can make for riveting action better than many a Salim-Javed potboiler. Another man to make the cut would
SMOOTH TRANSITION Milkha Singh with a poster of “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”. PHOTO: AFP
be the gritty swimmer Mihir Sen who fought poverty, politics and prejudice across continents and yet became the ﬁrst Asian to cross the English Channel. A self made man, Mihir was allegedly systematically ruined for opposing the ruling dispensation and died penniless. Similarly, none would dispute that it would be equally fascinating to watch P. T. Usha’s excruciating journey from a country hamlet to the world stage where she won over one hundred track and ﬁeld medals yet, like Milkha, lost in 1984 Olympics in a photo-ﬁnish. Nicknamed “Payyoli Express”, Usha was always a digniﬁed and affable competitor who believed in the old world school of playing by the rule book andparticipating in sport for the glory of the sport. Obviously, going by that yardstick, Usha’s natural follower would be the artistic Saina Nehwal who too is a shining example. The story of Saina and her parents’ sacriﬁce would make for a jubilee hit as it has all the ingredients of a family drama. And if love is what attracts hordes to Indian cinema, then surely Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi’s life would make for an ideal emotional ﬁlm. His exemplary performances despite loss of a vision in one eye as well as his enduring romance and marriage to ﬁlm star Sharmila Tagore are the stuff that dreams are made of.
Similarly, syrupy family story of the world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand and his upholding of ‘Rajshri’ style tradition-bound family values too could make for an exceptional entertainer to beat all love stories. Maybe that is also the reason that the humble boxer Mary Kom’s wonderful but dogged journey is being ﬁlmed for screen! As for diehard Bollywood fans reared on glitz, glamour and foreign locales, a tale of friendship, rivalry, envy and fallout could be made on the exploits of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. Viewers can be assured of a high octane dialogue laden ﬁlm with several songs and chest thumping scenes about dosti (friendship) and bewafaai (cheating and inﬁdelity) sprinkled throughout for applause from the galleries. Clearly, it is not possible to recount names and deeds of various outstanding heroes who have illuminated the sporting arena and are worthy of a ‘screen presence’. But it is evident that there could be several fascinating stories of sports personnel who brought laurels and smiles into our lives with their performances. Who can ever forget the travails, tears and triumphs of charismatic Salim Durrani, the affable Everest conqueror Tenzing Norgay, the billiard wizard Michael Ferreira, the gentle batting genius Gundappa Vishwanath, the mercurial footballer Inder Singh or the unfortunate table-tennis champ K. Chandrashekhar and several magniﬁcent men and women who loved life and sport in equal measure despite all hurdles. If more stories are made on the lives of sporting heroes, perhaps, the man on the street would appreciate that it wasn’t lack of effort on their part but the overall apathy of the system that hindered the progress of our champions.
FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
The mass and the medium
DANCE Shila Mehta on extending the boundaries of Kathak.
here are those who maintain that the classical arts belong at the apex of an imaginary pyramid representing public interest. From this point of view, genres of Indian classical dance and music will naturally not draw as many admirers and practitioners, as large a proportion of hobbyists and audiences, as the more trendy arts, like, say, Bollywood dance or light music, which occupy up the larger base of the popularity pyramid. However, Kathak exponent Shila Mehta might well disagree on this point. The Mumbai-based dancer and teacher has on occasion taken her art to a mass scale by choreographing productions in which not only do the audiences number in the tens of thousands, but the performers too exceed a thousand. Counting among her gurus maestros including Pandit Prahlad Das, Vijay Shankar, Birju Maharaj, Suresh Talwalkar, Chitresh Das, Kumudini Lakhia and Kalanidhi Narayanan, she says in an email interview, “I have done choreographies with dancers and non-dancers in large groups ranging from 1000 to 1500 on the stage at a time.” These are “just like the Olympics, or the Asiad type,” she explains. “My ﬁrst work with such a mass group was (with a view) to project our Indian culture through dance in Kolkata, ‘Spectrum’ at Netaji Indoor Stadium, for an audience of 45,000 when I was only 19 years old,” she states. She says she is “at ease” with this mammoth task, one she is able to “thoroughly enjoy.” In 2006, she was the chief choreographer for a project in Rajkot seeking to portray the history of Gujarat. There were “1500 dancers and non-dancers,” she says. They performed at the Lokotsav and Rangotsav, programmes that
were “attended by 65,000 people.” Whatever the numbers, though, Kathak is accepted as primarily a vehicle to discover the self, like the other arts of India that mingle spirituality with storytelling, physical prowess with metaphysical musings. Therefore, for this ‘mass’ choreographer, Yoga is also an integral part of the learning process and she has been a practitioner since childhood. Early this week, she performed in Nagpur followed by an ongoing workshop. She says, “I strongly believe that one of the purposes of Indian classical dance is to act as a strong medium to connect to one’s true self.” Only in ﬁnding this spiritual dimension, she emphasises, can an artiste go “deeper
............................................................................ MY WORK INCLUDES PRESENTATION OF DIFFERENT DOHAS, CHHAND, NAV RASA, DASHAVTAR FOUND IN DOHA STYLE OF CHARANI LITERATURE THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF KATHAK. ..............................................................................
and deeper, feel the core of the dance and grow – not only from the career point of view.” She continues, “The workshop mainly focuses on understanding Kathak dance as a classical dance art from this angle.” Besides, she offers technical training in various talas as well as abhinaya, including a thumri of Pandit Bindadin Maharaj. Before beginning the conventional teaching, there is a session she terms “Chaitanya Yoga Dance,” describing it as “warming up of the physical body along with experience of awakening of Chaitanya – consciousness/ spirit — through classical music specially composed for this.” What kind of artistes does she expect to attend? “Participants are professional and semi-professional
dancers and teachers from different dance schools and institutes of Nagpur and surrounding regions. One group I have specially asked for are those who are totally new to dance.” The performing arts have their basis not only in spirituality but in allied forms like music and literature. Mehta, artistic Director of Nupur Zankar academy of Performing Arts & Research Centre, Mumbai, enjoys extending the boundaries of her chosen art. This is evident from her taking up Charani literature as a basis for new compositions in the Kathak solo format. “I was exposed to Charans, a community mainly nowadays found in Gujarat and Rajasthan, from a very young age. I was always fascinated with their literature and its depth and also its applicability in day-today life by normal charan (meaning ‘one who tells the story’). I took it up as my research project for my Senior Fellowship from the Government of India.” She amalgamated the language of Kathak gestures to communicate the varied themes of the Charans, “with the art of verbal story telling as well when required,” she says. “My work includes presentation of different dohas, chhand, nav rasa, Dashavtar found in doha style of Charani literature through the medium of Kathak.” As for the music for “Charani Kathak”, she has taken inspiration from “the sensibility of penetrating soul music – i.e. folk music of Gujarat and Rajasthan.” (Shila Mehta and her group comprising Rekha, Shruti, Neha, Krupa, Manasi, performed Kathak at Vasantrao Deshpande Hall, Nagpur on July 10. The workshop ends this Saturday.)
RHYTHM AND MUSINGS Shila Mehta.
REVIEW While Tabashmi Paul Majumdar’s ﬁrst Kathak recital in Delhi was impressive, aspects beyond dance technique should have been given more attention.
Adding to the tradition
INTERVIEW SNA awardee Mattanur Sankarankutty Marar talks about his contribution to Kerala’s traditional art of Thayambaka.
TAPATI CHOWDURIE orn and brought up in a devout Hindu family of Marar in Mattanur, in Kannur district of Kerala, Padma Sri Mattanur Sankarankutty Marar’s life has always been closely related to the temple. His family had the ‘Chenda duty’ — called adiyandiram — in the temple, he recalls. At the age of ﬁve, he had to help his father K. Kunjikrishna Marar in the temple in performing his Chenda duty. Seeing his interest in tala, his father felt it would be better to train him in the traditional percussion instrument Chenda. Winner of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2012 for his contribution to the State’s traditional art of Thayambaka, Mattanur Sankarankutty Marar says he also started learning Karnataka Sangeetham at the same time under Thalassery Padmanabha, Bhagavathar for about three years. Here, he takes a few questions on his early days that shaped him as an artiste and his role in adding value to Thayambaka. Excerpts: What percussion instruments other than Chenda have you learnt? When I was 12, I joined Gandhi Seva Sadanam, Pathirippala, Palakkad, as a student of Kathakali Chenda under Pallassena Chandra Mannadiyar and Sadanam Vasudevan. After completing the four-year course of Kathakali Chenda, I went to Pattaraath Sankara Marar to learn Idakka. I learnt to play the Thimila under Guru Pallavur Maniyan Marar. When did you start performing in public? My ﬁrst performance was at Mattanur Mahadeva Temple under my father K. Kunjikrishna Marar who trained me in my initial years. In was eight years old then. In the northern part of Kerala, there was no scope of developing or improvising on Thayambaka. Aalipparamb Krishna Poduval, a great coordinator and performer of Thayambaka and Melam, asked me to join him. I accepted his invitation and started performing with him. That was how I got a chance to perform with maestros like Aalipparamb Sivarama Poduval, Thrithala Kunjikrishna Poduval and Thrithala Kesavan. My ﬁrst performance with Alipparamb Sivarama Poduval in Double Thayambaka was a memorable event for me. That experience gave me conﬁdence and people began to recognise me. What path breaking steps did you take towards improvement of Thayambaka? The two styles in Thayambaka are Palakkad style and Malamakkav style. Aalipparamb Sivarama Poduval, Thrithala Kunjikrishna Poduval and Thrithala Kesavan were the maestros in Malamakkav style and Chithali Ra-
disciple of Malavika Mitra of Kolkata, Tabashmi Paul Majumdar in her ﬁrst solo appearance on the Delhi stage, performing under the aegis of the India International Centre, impressed as a dancer with command over both abstract and interpretative aspects of Kathak. The “Jaya Durge” start with a vandana to the Goddess in her benevolent and evil destroying moods, straightaway established a well ﬁnished dancer, and this despite the distractions of an over-loud sitar which seemed to scream raga Durga with strident strings. In the Teen tala nritta, it was heartening to see a dancer taking her time over the thaat portion, enjoying it, rather than making this minimal start with its very subtle aesthetics just a passing phase – which dancers today are often wont to do. Upaj had its improvised footwork woven into the lehra which, unfortunately, instead of a steady refrain ﬂowing like a pulse with the dance intra-forms built into it, delighted in variations, giving a wavering quality. But the dancer in weaving combinations of tisra, chatusra, khanda and misra showed her grasp over layakari. Amad, uthan, parmelu and gat nikas with three sequences comprising the “seedi gat”, portraying the proud nayika, and ﬁnally mayur gat were all well done. The kavit (one of her guru’s specialties), and
RIGHT BEAT Mattanur Sankarankutty Marar.
PRAISEWORHTY Tabashmi Paul Majumdar.
the badalparan were all well done. One was disappointed with the lack of response from the audience which beyond lukewarm applause did not express its appreciation heartily. The Bindadin thumri “Kaise jaon Shaam rokat dagariya” was too ﬂeeting in treatment, with very little elaboration, to make much of a statement despite the dancer’s expressional ability. And cannot musicians cultivate the discipline to stop from strumming the instruments while the dancer is explaining something over the mike? All one could hear was a garble of sounds with no clarity. The Dhamar nritta with lehra in Malkauns was neatly executed, the bandishes ending in unusual freezes with a competently executed “anagat’’ sequence too. Even the tabla of Shobir Thakur was drowned in the medley of the sitar. The concluding note with the Meera Bhajan “Hari tum haro jan ki peer” in the narrative treatment of episodes showing Vishnu coming to the rescue of the devotee through Draupadi Vastrapaharanam, Narasimha killing Hiranyakashipu to save bhakta Prahlad and Gajendra moksham was rendered with a great deal of involvement, without exaggeration. The conviction in abhinaya while constantly changing from a negative to a benevolent role and viceversa was praiseworthy. While costuming is a matter of individual taste, something less gaudy both in the garment colours and in the jewellery would put the focus more strongly on the dancer, apart from aiding general aesthetics. From the little one could hear, Subhashish Bhatt provided adequate vocal support.
atering to serious art collectors, seven art galleries located in Lado Sarai, New Delhi, have come together to host an eclectic collection of artworks in ‘The Collector’s Weekend’. Available between Rs.3000 and Rs.30,000, collectors would ﬁnd everything from prints to drawings, sculptures to paintings and videos to photographs, etc. According to Bhavna Kakar of Latitude 28, the idea is to showcase a large variety of art works to an avid collector, “who may or may not buy something from a show. She/he is looking
for something speciﬁc, probably a master or a work by an upcoming artist that is not currently on display.” In the ﬁrst edition of this yearly affair, Latitude 28, Abadi Art Space, Art Positive, Art Motif, Exhibit 320, Studio Art and Wonderwall are offering works by the likes of Bhupen Khakar, S.H. Raza, F.N. Souza, Bose Krishnamachari, T.Vaikuntam, Paresh Maity, Laxma Goud, Jogen Chowdhury, V.S. Gaitonde, Manjit Bawa, George Martin, Rajesh Ram, Sandeep Biswas, Baaraan Ijlal and Shivani Aggarwal.
ma Marar, Pallavur Appu Marar, Pallavur Kunjukuttan Marar were accomplished in Palakkad style. I have performed in both the styles. I collected the good elements from both and tried to create a new style myself. Rasikaas enjoyed this very much and they named it “Mattanur Banni or Mattanur style”. When I was young, I got a chance to attend a Thayambaka performance of late Pallavur Appu Marar. I was so impressed by his performance that I began to specialise in Adantha Kooru, which usually begins in a medium tempo of tala. I performed it in a very slow tempo and improvised it in a speedy tempo. I divided the improvisation in Chathurasram, Thisram, Misram, Khandam and so on in a vey
A work by Benitha Percival.
................................... THE NEW STYLE OF PLAYING MUKHAM WAS ENJOYED BY THE AUDIENCE AND ALMOST ALL NEW GENERATION ARTISTES FOLLOW THIS STYLE . ....................................
slow tempo. Rasikas appreciated this improvisation very much. In the course of your experimentations, what criticisms did you face and how did you overcome them? In Thayambaka, the ﬁrst part (mukham) was not played in a way as it is done nowadays. I was instrumental in changing it. The reason for my doing so was that the improvisation made the style more attractive. In the beginning I was criticized by rasikaas. But in the end the new style of playing mukham was enjoyed by the audience and almost all new generation artistes follow this style . In Panchari Melam, in the Malabar area, the artistes used to play Chenda with two sticks ( Irukol Panchari ) and in Thrissur area, they used to play with one stick (Ottakkol Panchari ). I prefer the ﬁrst one because nobody can play with the left hand with the same effect for three to four hours continuously. In a seminar, I argued for Irukol Panchari Melam. In Samakaalika Malayalam Weekly, a debate was held on the same subject. I wish Melam to be musical. The instruments of Kombu and Kuzhal should be of the same pitch Sruthi. Thus I improvised Sruthi Melam, for which I was criticized a lot. But I have withstood all criticism with fortitude, which is why I am what I am today.
FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
On a ﬂight of art
SHOWCASE Merging different craft techniques of artists for his ongoing public project at the Mumbai Airport, Rajeev Sethi evokes the spirit of hospitality.
idn’t all those stories we grew up listening to make us fantasise about the strange vehicle Ravana abducted Sita in? Egged on by these tales and aided by ﬁlms, theatre, TV, books etc., a distinct image of udan khatola got distilled in our heads. The original one, you bet, would have been a marvel in all respects and the imagined ones was also a delight but the 13 foot long and 6.5 foot high udan khatola, painted by Madhavi Parekh and sculpted by Rajeev Sethi, surpasses any imagination. Had Sita been ﬂown to Lanka in this splendid machine, she would have probably not complained. This September onwards, all those arriving and departing from the new terminal of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai will be able to view this artistic creation, which is part of a massive public art project led by Delhi-based Rajeev Sethi’s Rajeev Sethi Sceneographers Pvt. Limited. It’s interesting to note that though we severely lack in very many instances of public art, of late our airports have been striving to boast some. Recently, Sethi unveiled ‘Udan Khatola’, ‘Touché’ and ‘Reappearances – Below the Tarmac’ in New Delhi before they were packed off to Mumbai where they would be mounted along with 177 other art works crafted in different parts of the country — Kashmir, Jaipur, Kolkata, Delhi. The project (funded by GVK) involving more than 1000 artists who have together created around 180 murals to be displayed in the upcoming space covering an area of over 4,39,000 square meters. Not the biggest but it does qualify as one of the biggest projects Sethi has undertaken in his career so far. “There is no dearth of vision in this country. What’s more important is how you implement an idea. And in a country like ours where we have a luxury of committed skilful people, we can realise
some of the most difficult visions. Machines would stay but I believe hands would always stay one step ahead,” says the scenographer, designer and Chairman of the Asian Heritage Foundation, adding that the art installation at Mumbai airport will evoke the spirit of hospitality. “It’s about what constitutes the sentinel of arrival and departure.” Not just artists, but designers, architects, artisans and technicians have converged on this platform that seeks to interpret India on different levels. On board are varied craft traditions as well. From paper mache to khatamband, pinjarakari to terracotta sculptures, wood carving to Rajasthani miniatures, patachitra and madhubani, etc, the list is endless. In ‘Reappearances — Below the Tarmac’, a huge terracotta skyscape that attempts to depict the airport as a virtual metropolis, potters of Molela, a village near Udaipur, have crafted mythical airplanes and whimsical ﬂying machines. It is a signiﬁcant departure from the customary votive terracotta plaques of gods and goddesses these artists make. While this art work evokes the cross-runway unique to the Mumbai airport, ‘Touche’ is inspired by the ﬁve elements and the ﬁve senses by which we perceive them. Hawa Mahal with all the beautiful jaali work melts into a pagdi or a turban. And then, there is the magical ‘Udan Khatola’ crafted in papier mache and bamboo by a team of craftsmen led by papier mache artist Satbir Kajania. Enamoured of different techniques employed by tableau makers in Chandan Nagar during the puja and the interpretation of horse in different cultures across India, Sethi have incorporated these into the fold as well.
EVOKING SUBLIME FLAVOURS (clockwise from left) Udan Khatola crafted in papier-mache and bamboo, Rajeev Sethi against the backdrop of ‘Reappearan ces – Below the Tarmac’ and ‘Touche’
PHOTOS: SHAILAJA TRIPATHI
Path of pathos
THEATRE Savita Kundra’s “Ek Akeli Aurat” was a sensitive portrayal of a woman struggling to survive in a macho world.
DIWAN SINGH BAJELI ecipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in literature, Dario Fo’s two plays — “Accidental Death of an Anarchist” and “Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!” – are widely performed on the Delhi stage by different directors with varying success and continue to attract a large number of audience because of their exposure of anti-people policies of the establishment through the elements of satire, farce and comedy. One of the greatest Italian actors, playwrights and political campaigners, he wants to uphold the dignity of the oppressed through his plays. His play “A Woman Alone”, which he wrote in collaboration with Rame, presented by Sehar at Akshara Theatre this past week, is probably seen for the ﬁrst time in Delhi. A solo piece, it offers a challenging role for an actor to bring alive various facets of a complex character and evoke moods ranging from pathos to anguish and tragic to
Of old, and new
CONVINCING A scene from “Ek Akeli Aurat.”
comic. Sehar’s production is aptly designed and admirably performed by a talented actor and these two aspects are able to hold our interest throughout the show. Translated into Hindi as “Ek Akeli Aurat” by wellknown theatre practitioner Himanshu B. Joshi, the play depicts the sufferings of a woman in a macho world. She is locked in her ﬂat by her jealous, cruel and mentally sick husband. She has to confront three men who are crazy and possessive. Her brother-in-law in plaster is bed-ridden and sex starved. She has to protect herself from an aggressive young man passionately in love with her. Their affair starts during one of the tuition classes (he teaches her) in her ﬂat. Once, her husband catches her redhanded in a compromising position with the young man. Beaten mercilessly, she is now kept locked in the ﬂat. The husband keeps on heaving ﬁlthy abuses on her for her adulterous act.
Her mad young lover continues to make frantic efforts to break open the lock of the front door. She continues to make pleas by climbing up on the portable stair kept in the room not to create scene and leave her in peace. This makes him all the more determined and aggressive to enter the room by force. And as if this embarrassment and torture were not enough, she needs to attend to her baby who keeps on screaming all the time. Her brother-in-law needs her and shouts at regular intervals. She has to do household chores, adding drudgery to her tormented world from which she has no hope of redemption. The Akshara Theatre appears suitable for the performance of one actorplay. It has two levels. As soon as the play opens we watch a young woman on the upper level spreading out three large pieces of fabric, each having male ﬁgure printed on it. Their shape indicates that
CULTURE Over the years, the traditional art form of Naat has undergone a transformation.
the elderly with a pot belly is the husband of the woman, the young and smart ﬁgure stands for the one passionately in love with her and the third ﬁgure indicates her brother-in-law. And then the performer comes down on the ground level. Gradually, she gives life to the tormented world of her character and the men who has made her life hellish. In tune with the requirement of the solo piece, all the characters remain offstage. The performer is alone on the stage.Directed and performed by Savita Kundra, the ﬁne aspect of the production is that she has imaginatively used all the objects placed on the stage, often raising them to the level of characters. Through her interactions with these ob-
jects she creates dramatic situations. She also explores the opportunity of improvisation the play offers to a talented actor. The frequent ringing of telephone bell brings more information about her life and her link with the outside world. This also reinforces her sense of alienation and bitterness caused by her captivity. She uses the portable stair to peep out to converse with her lover. The bucket with water is used to indicate the violence her husband has perpetrated on her. By ensuring the continuity of the action on the stage, the audience are allowed to engage with the production which ends on a shocking note. A graduate from National School of Drama, Savita Kun-
dra gives a convincing performance, displaying the sensitivity of her art as an actor. However, the primary mood in the production is that of pathos and bitterness. Savita could have exploited the elements of farce and comedy inherent in the play by giving light touch to her conversation with a woman on telephone, who tells her that her husband has made her young daughter pregnant. Similarly, she could have amused the audience while talking to the creditors of her husband through the stair, posing as the maid of the house. However, on the whole the play emerges as a voice expressing concern about the deplorable condition of women in a society dominated by men.
On a visionary and his mission
BIOPIC Hyagreeva Cine Arts chose to make a ﬁlm on Ramanuja to inform the next generation of this legacy.
revered sanyasi who had dared to question received wisdom, had refused to tread the beaten track and had challenged established convention, left his beloved Srirangam, and began a long trek to Karnataka. The sanyasi —Ramanuja — had to leave because the ruler of the time, who later acquired the epithet Kirumikanthan, wished to snuff out Sri Vaishnavism and the life of Ramanuja. Ramanuja’s peregrinations earned him new followers wherever he set foot and Sri Vaishnavism continued to thrive in these places, long after Ramanuja’s departure from this world. In Karnataka, many Viswakarmas converted to Sri Vaishnavism in the post Ramanuja period. Vaishnava scholars give Ramanuja’s period as 1017 to 1137 A.D. Epigraphist T.N. Subramaniam argued that his period must have been from 1077 to 1197 A.D., and that Kulottunga II, who threw the Chidambaram Govindaraja idol into the sea, was Kirumikanthan. S. Ramachandran, retired epigraphist, Tamil Nadu State Archaeology Department, says the tenor of Ottakoothar’s words recording KulottunCM YK
ga’s act indicates his hostility to Vaishnavism. The meikeerthi of Raja Raja II, who succeeded Kulottunga, says, “Ari samayam meetteduthu”, indicating that Vaishnavism had been under threat previously. The concerns of academicians about who Kirumikanthan was, however, do not detract from Ramanuja’s greatness in any way. Some people question whether a Chola king would have been intolerant or cruel. History is also an account of the jostling for religious space. While the Chola Kings, in general, might have exhibited religious tolerance, there were exceptions too. There is evidence to show that the Cholas did not always adhere to dharmic rules, and were capable of barbarity. An inscription in Hottur, Dharwad district, Karnataka, says that Rajendra Chola I slaughtered women and children and seized women. The meikeerthi of Vira Rajendra says he severed the nose of Nagalai, the only daughter of the Chalukya general, Chamundaraja. When Chalukya Ahavamalla was defeated, his chief queens Sattiyavai and Sangappai, other minor queens and many other women were
LIFE OF A SEER Stills from ‘Sri Ramanujar’. PHOTOS: SPECIAL
carried away as war booty by Rajendra II, and his meikeerthi refers to this. Coming to Ramanuja’s personal life, sometimes Ramanuja’s wife is portrayed as a virago. But such viliﬁcation is unfair. Not everyone is born a visionary. To speak of Ramanuja as having renounced samsaric life because of quarrels with his wife is to trivialise his motivations. Ramanuja, because of the enormity of his accomplishments, is not an easy subject to handle in a ﬁlm, although G.V. Iyer did make a ﬁlm some years ago. So when I hear that Hyagreeva Cine Arts is coming up with a ﬁlm on Ramanuja, my curiosity is aroused. Srirangam Rangamani, who is the script writer, says, “In our ﬁlm, titled ‘Sri Ramanujar,’ we have adhered strictly to the traditional Vaishnava
texts.” T. Krishna, who plays the role of Ramanuja, and is also one of the producers, says, “I do not come from a rich background. If today I run a shipping company successfully, it is due to the grace of Ramanujacharya. This ﬁlm is my tribute to the Acharya. I also want the younger generation to be aware of our legacy.” It seems as if the entire crew is caught up in a Ramanuja wave. Cameraman Primus Das, a Christian, has read up books on Ramanuja. P.R. Sethuraman, co-producer of the ﬁlm, says, “We will not resort to a great deal of computer graphics. We are waiting for water in the Cauvery, to resume shooting in the Thanjavur region.” Scenes involving Kirumikanthan will be shot in Melkote. “There is a mandapam near the Kalyani theer-
tham, which, with some clever use of sets, will serve as the Chola palace,” explains Ravi V. Chandar, the director.Lyrics are by Vaali, and music is by Ilayaraja. There are six songs, ﬁve of which are in classical ragas- Thodi, Mayamalavagowla, Hindolam, Bhimplas, Kalyani. One is a folk tune. “Organisers of the Tirupati umbrella festival, because of their Ramanuja bhakti, printed pamphlets about our ﬁlm at their cost and distributed them during the festival,” says Pammal Srinivasan, legal adviser to the team. “Plans include commercial ﬁlms. But we will also come up with ﬁlms on Sankara, Madhva, Azhvars, Nayanmars, and mythological stories,” says Krishna. (The ﬁlm “Sri Ramanujar” is in the making and is expected to be released soon.)
aat Khawani and Naatiya shayari are cultural art forms most of us in the Capital would be largely unaware of. While qawwali and Suﬁ poetry enjoy immense popularity, predominantly because of their renditions in popular ﬁlms and albums, Naatiya shayari enjoys a more eclectic crowd. Naat is Islamic hymns about Prophet Muhammad that are sung unaccompanied by musical instruments. However, with time, traditional Naat singers are slipping away from the social sphere. Recollecting this departure, Ayesha Abrar, a resident of Daryaganj, New Delhi, says, “Naat isn’t something very common now but there is still one old man who takes rounds in my colony reciting naats during Ramzan. But he doesn’t live here, probably comes from far, because he comes on any day of Ramzan. He sings in the dark, some people give him alms or food and he disappears.” She ﬁnds, “Naats more common at gatherings (both men’s and women’s), in masjids or at homes, even at family gatherings.” With few live performances, it is now more common to listen to Naat khawani in audio cassettes notes. Abrar Kiratpuri, a respected Hamd-o-Naat shayar, and general secretary of Hamd-O-Naat Academy, New Delhi, promotes and felicitates naat composers. He notes, “Naat is an integral part of shayari. In fact, Delhi School and Lucknow School have been very popular. Delhi is the land of Mirza Ghalib and Ibrahim Zauq, but it is difficult to ﬁnd anything speciﬁcally about Naat.” He feels, “The tradition of Naatiya shayari has been picked up by the youth today. In fact, Naatiya mushayara and Naat khawani are much more popular today.” However, Delhi, despite being the culture capital of the country which also houses some of the ﬁnest universities, has not given Naats much academic interest. “Naat as a subject has not been taken up by the universities in Delhi, whereas universities in UP and Madhya Pradesh (Nagpur) have produced research work on Naat. Raﬁuddin Ashfaq was the ﬁrst person in the Indo-Pak region to be awarded a PhD on Naat by Nagpur University,” points out Kiratpuri. Dharmender Nath, who has recently published “Hamare Rasool”, where he has contributed 627 non-Muslim Naats, noting how the form has altered, says, “There are two changes — one, the practice of composing Naats in Urdu has diminished because of its difficulty, giving way to an idiom that is understood by common people. Two, it is not archaic, contemporary practices have also tried to incorporate today’s problems in Naat compositions. Interestingly, Naat has been adopted by non-Muslims as well; I have just received a compilation from Dharamshala by Krishna Kumar Toor.”
FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2013
ouble role by a lead actor has been a convenient technique that has seldom failed to appeal to Hindi cinema audience — the clash of good and evil. There are, however, very few examples of such dual acts in Hollywood. Peter Sellers in “Dr Strangelove”, Mike Myers in “Austin Powers”, Lee Marvin’s Best Actor Academy Award in “Cat Ballou” are some performances that instantly come to mind. In India, especially in Bollywood, it has been somewhat more frequent but, invariably, to good effect even if somewhat technically weak. Filmmaker Govind Nihalani, who though has never used the devise in any of his ventures, deﬁnes it as “an almost genre in itself.” While Rajesh Khanna did dual roles in 10 ﬁlms, his successor at the box office, Amitabh Bachchan, has essayed double, or even triple roles in 11 ﬂicks. For the leading ladies, it seems to have begun with Nargis in Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’s ﬁrst commercial venture, “Anhonee”. Others who have set the screen on ﬁre with their double acts are: Sadhana in “Woh Kaun Thi” and “Mera Saaya”; Hema Malini in “Seeta aur Geeta” (Ramesh Sippy’s take on “Ram Aur Shyam”); Sharmila Tagore in “An Evening in Paris” and “Mausam”; Sridevi in “Chaalbaaz” (yet another version of ‘Ram Aur Shyam”; Madhuri Dixit in ‘Sangeet’; Kajol in “Dushman”, and others. Amongst the more unforgettable is Rakhee in “Sharmilee”, which was only her second Hindi ﬁlm. This was ﬁrst of the 10 ﬁlms that Shashi Kapoor and Rakhee worked together in between 1971 and 1985, six of which were big hits. Made under the banner of Subodh Mukherjee Productions and directed by Samir Ganguly, “Sharmilee” has grossed over Rs 2,60,00,000 since its opening. Neeraj’s lyrics and S. D. Burman’s compositions contributed substantially to its successful performance at the box office. Who would forget the songs — “Megha Chhaye Aadhi Raat”, and the female version of “Khilte Hai Gul Ya-
STARRING Shashi Kapoor, Rakheee, Ranjeet, Iftekhar, Nazir Husain, Narendranath, Anita Guha, Asit Sen (guest appearance)
Project: Femme fatale
NANDU RETURNS Gaurav Gera as Pammi Pyarelal.
e have all seen his comic timing and admired his work in the ﬁeld. Remembered for his portrayal of Nandu aka Nandan Verma in “Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi”, Gaurav is back after his stint in “Tota Weds Maina”. In his latest TV outing “Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal”, he dons the role of a woman. The show begins on Colors this week. Excerpts from the interview: In the soap “Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal”, you play a woman . How difficult was it to get into the character? I play the lead role that is Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal. It’s a very exciting role. Any actor would love to play such a character which is full of challenges. The role requires me to be in different situations. It is a treat to play Pammi. It was really tough both physically and emotionally. I had to wait for nearly 2-3 hours to put on make-up and get dressed. I was uncomfortable wearing heavy earrings and walking around in heels. It deﬁnitely is a new thing for me. I’ve started understanding and respecting women a lot more now.
ONE OF HER BEST Rakhee in “Sharmilee”. PHOTO: THE HINDU ARCHIVES
han” by Lata Mangeshkar (the male version was rendered by Kishore Kumar), “Kaise Kahen Hum”, “Oh Meri Sharmilee”’ (Kishore solos), “Reshmi Ujala Hai Makhmali Andhera”’ (Asha Bhosle) and the Kishore-Lata duet, “Aaj Madhosh Hua Jaye Re”’. The ﬁlm was based on a story by Hindi pulp ﬁction master Gulshan Nanda, and scripted by in-house writers. Vijendra Gaur authored some ﬁne dialogue for it. The narrative opens with the introduction of twin sisters, the shy simpleton sporting traditional outﬁts, Kanchan, and perky, playful, educated Kamini (Rakhee). While stealing food for herself and her stranded friends from the army mess in a remote area of Kashmir, the effervescent, westernised Kamini is chased and
............................................................................................................ THE UNDERWORLD PLOT IN THE FILM SEEMS AN UNNECESSARY JUXTAPOSITION, SO WAS A TERRIBLY COMPOSED ACTION SEQUENCE DURING THE CLIMAX THUS RUINING THE OVERALL IMPACT. ...............................................................................................................
caught by Captain Ajit Kapoor, an orphan adopted by Father Joseph (Nazir Husain). Expectedly, it is love at ﬁrst sight. Ajit accepts the proposal but Kamini disappears before the event and also faces a murder charge. She kills Kundan (Ranjeet in a miniscule role), the henchman of Tiger (Narendranath). Kanchan is then forced to marry Ajit, but her letter of warning and truth never reaches him, and misunderstanding and disowning follows when she owns up her true identity. While on the hunt for invaders near the frontier, Ajit runs into Kamini again who helps him regain his comﬁture. But amongst the enemies is also a woman who closely resembles the twins. Quick turns and twists keep the 165-minute narrative alive till the very climax backed by Burman’s score at its very best. The lead pair excels. Rakhee trots through divergent characters effortlessly while the subsidiary cast runs through its act mechanically. Technically, N. V. Srinivas’s cinematography backed by some sharp editing by V. K. Naik succeeds in keeping the pace steady. The underworld plot in the ﬁlm seems an unnecessary juxtaposition, so was a terribly composed action sequence during the climax thus affecting the overall impact — bad dessert after a wholesome meal.
What is the ﬂavour of the show? It’s comical. It represents the spice of life. Aaj kal ka zamaana fast pace ka hai (Life is fast paced today). The same way the story is quick and at a fast pace. It’s a complete comedy of errors. Did you leave the show “Tota Weds Maina” to do this one? No, I did not. The show was on air for some months and then the producers decided that the show will go off air. How have the responses been for “Jhumroo”? It is basically a Broadway musical in Delhi. I’m really lucky that I got the opportunity to play this role. I have received a lot of appreciation and a positive feedback from the audiences. You have been trapped into the image of a comic actor…. I do a variety of roles. I have anchored a lot of shows as a host. I do not consider comedy to be a trap for me. This is something that I enjoy doing. I am capable of doing several roles but I choose not to do heavy duty roles as they don’t interest me. I do only those roles which I like doing.
Life that was, is…
INTERNET Homework is not tough, being a housewife is, says acclaimed novelist Alice Munro.
SUDHAMAHI REGUNATHAN hen I thought of being a writer when I was a girl in my teens, I thought I would be a success by the time I was 25 and for some reason I thought I would come to England and meet Lawrence Olivier on whom I had a tremendous crush… I would have a wonderful blue velvet gown… I would have written one novel which was the ‘Wuthering Heights’ of the 20th Century…,” says a charming Alice Munro well into her eighties at the time of the interview. Her success as a novelist is well known and she, it is said, is a perennial nominee for the Nobel Prize (having won the Man Booker International Prize in 2009). Alice attributes this romantic vision to all that she has read… “I read and read till it was not enough anymore just to have these stories. I would be making up my own stories…stories that
I love. I had quite a brutal walk home from school and I made stories all the way back home… I was not brought up in a community that considered, what we call creativity now, as normal…they thought it was normal for few people who lived in other countries and even fewer who lived in Toronto…but not for us.” “I was the oldest and it fell to me to take over quite a bit of housework….I never minded that. What bothered me later was that it was expected to be my life. Housework never prevented me from writing. It was the life of a housewife that prevented me from writing…you are constantly interrupted, you have no space... the deﬁnition of a housewife was very constant….” Alice describes her times candidly. “My generation was the drinking generation… we were also silly. I say silly because we were to think you
could make your life over…so marriages broke up. Mine did too. It was a trend. People whose marriage did not break up were almost apologetic…it was a regrettable period…in terms of the way we had related to our children. I did not get alarmed about drugs, sex or bad language. Children, I realise, do not want enlightened parents, they want deﬁnite and ﬁrm parents so that boundaries are raised…I don’t think I could have ever done that.” Talking of family, Alice mentions a child she lost for she believes the child too should be known. It took her years to be able to say that without the fear of being accused as “sentimental”. Alice says she could not avoid the guilt that she wanted to something else other than mothering. In her days it was not given much importance.
“I don’t think I ever felt my daughters and the rest of my life that was getting in my way. I felt I did not have it in me…I could not do it. Around 29 I had anxiety because I had realised what I had wanted to do was so hard…my family would always say recognise your limitations…I refused to. Every time you write something you are breaking something…If you accept your limitations, you can never write.” Of her age she says, “People see you differently…you feel the same. I don’t think it happens so much to men…people except me to be ‘sentimental’ because I am an older woman…Older women have a nice negligible quality. What they are supposed to think is set out…Limitations of age, clichés about age have to go. Otherwise there is freedom because...the world’s opinion matters less.”
Alice ends by saying, “Writing is not worth doing if you do not do it with candour…I write of what I know of life and that is in myself…. Writing seems to be the best thing you can do with life…telling the truth as near as you can get to it…tackling the experience of being alive as best as you can…to get far into human experience seems to be a marvellous use of human life on earth.”
Where Angels Fear to Tread
(MGM, Saturday, 9 p.m.) This is a drama of repressed and unleashed sexuality within the British upper class, based on E.M. Forster’s ﬁrst novel. The story follows events after a British widow dallies with, then weds a young Tuscan while vacationing in Italy. The cast includes Rupert Graves, Helen Mirren, Helena Bonham Carter and Judy Davis.
coming. Initially a disbeliever, Evan begins to have second thoughts when tools to build an ark arrive at his doorstep, animals of all types hound him in pairs and he starts to sport a beard which just won't go away. Stars Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman.
(BBC World News, Saturday, 1 p.m. and Sunday 6 p.m.) It features interviews with international bestselling authors from around the globe. Presenters Razia Iqbal and Gavin Esler uncover the themes that run through each writer’s work, the characters they have invented and the development of their writing style. This week features American-born author and bestselling historical novelist Tracy Chevalier. She has written seven books, the most famous being ‘Girl With A Pearl Earring’ that has sold more than three million copies worldwide and has been made into a ﬁlm starring Colin Firth and Scarlet Johansson. Her latest work, The Last Runaway (2013), is about slavery in the U.S. and the famous Underground Railroad. She talks to Gavin Esler about her love of photographer - they bring a dramatic research, why her latest book was the ﬁrst to be transformation. set in her homeland America, and how she How to Grow a Planet doesn’t write about what she knows. (Discovery Channel, Wednesday, 9 p.m.) Mission Makeover Australia One might think humans are the most pow(TLC, Saturday, 9 p.m.) erful living thing on Earth, but it is plants that The style experts travel to various cities to time and again have set the agenda for life. turn fashion failures into glamorous ones. EvAll animals rely on plants for their survival. ery episode is set in a different city. That goes to prove that plants are the most Trinny and Susannah identify women who powerful evolutionary force on Earth. could be beautiful and conﬁdent, but aren’t. It dominates the life of all living things and with the help of their professional makeover the entire planet. team – a hairdresser, make-up artist and a Find out more facts about plants and their
ANIMALS A - Z: Animal Planet, Friday, 10 p.m.
(WB Movies, Saturday, 4.10 p.m.) David (Tom Cruise) is the only son of a millionaire businessman. Most of the people around him believe David is a spoilt brat who has no value for his immense wealth. His parents die in an accident and David acquires the family company. A friend of his brings a girl to a party. David falls for her and ﬂirts with her unaware that a jealous ex-girlfriend is watching. And things take a different turn for him. Also stars Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Kurt Russell.
BLACK SWAN: Movies Now, Saturday, 6.50 p.m.
round the life of Kate Reddy, a ﬁnance executive who is the breadwinner of her family of husband and two children. Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear are in the main roles.
though fascinated by Aziz, Adela fails to understand his motivation or her own feelings and their awkward relationA Passage to India ship provokes the tragic (MGM, Sunday, 9 enigma of the Marabar p.m.) caves. Judy Davis, VicAdela arrives in India tor Banerjee and Sir to marry her ﬁancé, a Alec Guinness are in provincial magistrate. this David Lean-directChaﬁng under the sub- ed classic. urban constraints of British society and anx- I Don't Know How ious to see ‘the real In- She Does It (STAR Movies, Satdia,’ she is delighted to be introduced to an In- urday, 9 p.m.) This comedy revolves dian doctor, Aziz. AlCM YK
unimaginable power in this series that offers a stunning new perspective on Earth’s history.
Animal A to Z
(Animal Planet, Friday, 10 p.m.) Get closer to the natural world in this series which follows world’s some of the most interesting and sometimes misunderstood creatures. Each week’s episode showcases one animal and how it relies on its instincts as opposed to learned behaviour. Also learn about the lives and behaviours of deadly predators in the ecosystem that they share.
(STAR Movies, Sunday, 7 p.m.) God appears to the newly-appointed Congressman Evan Baxter and tells him to build an ark for a ﬂood that is